L – Oilers 0, Leafs 4 – Game 14 – 2013-10-29 @ 7:00 PM MST – SNET W

By , October 29, 2013 1:33 pm
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers
logo at logo
8-4-0 Record 3-8-2
Location: Rexall Place
Date: October 29, 2013 @ 7:00PM MST
TV: SNET W

PRE-GAME RANT

Gagner makes his triumphant return to the line up tonight. Don’t expect an immediate impact as he’s been sidelined for quite some time due to Kassian’s reckless stick in the pre-season. Ideally it will provide a team wide lift though.

Tonight is their first home game in awhile aside from the Caps game, but this one has the potential to feel like a road game. Someone turned off the lights and the cockroaches are coming out decorated in Leafs apparel and attempting to take over Rexall. Much like any original 6 team being in town. Getting early momentum is key.

Bachman will be tending the net tonight and hopefully won’t have to turn away near as many shots as he did last game in a 47 save performance losing eventually in a shootout to the Kings. The Leafs don’t shoot as often, but when they do, they’ve been making the best of it with what is currently 3rd ranking in league shooting percentage behind St. Louis and Tampa Bay.

With Gagner back on the ice, the Oilers top line gets shuffled once more. He’ll be centering Yakupov and Eberle. Yakupov finally capitalized on his first goal of the season one timing a tough angled rebound behind Quick. Ideally it’s the first step to restoring his mojo. He also played a good team game so he might finally be coming around to Eakins system.

The Oilers had some terribly timed penalties last game so looking for a more disciplined performance. The Leafs being a high percentage team, there’s no need to make things easier on them.

Probable Lines


Yakupov-Gagner-Eberle
Jones-RNH-Hemsky
Eager-Gordon-Arcobello
Gazdic-Acton-Grebeshkov

Smid-Petry
N.Schultz-Ferrence
J.Schultz-Belov

Bachman-LaBarbera

LIVE CHAT


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17 Responses to “L – Oilers 0, Leafs 4 – Game 14 – 2013-10-29 @ 7:00 PM MST – SNET W”

  1. dawgtoy says:

    Triumphant return? Ouch -4. Welcome back Sam. Yak -4. Ebs -3. My Bold would be to contact Buffalo and make a pitch for Ehrhoff and Ott. It would be expensive, but IMO necessary.

  2. Trogdor says:

    Yeah that was brutal. Sat next to ultra obnoxious Leafs fan to add insult. Don’t know why gags stopped skating on that 2 on 1. Could have put the hook on at least. Bachman was fighting the puck all game too. He’s not the answer… Not sure how we can outshoot an opponent like that and still look flat. Favorite part of the night was leaf fans booing the refs because Orr didn’t want to drop the mitts.

  3. Racki says:

    Oilers hockey is a form of torture. We are in Groundhog Day Hell.

  4. hemmerlady says:

    Groundhog Day- yes exactly! I’d like to know exactly when the Laffs went from zero to hero / how did they go from complete fan torture to playoff participant? When was the catalyst?
    I just don’t see how we’re going to acquire the blatantly obvious missing ingredients, which have been missing since Groundhog zero, i.e.: I think it was December 2006 when things started to go south fast and never recovered.

    I am so tired of being disappointed. I’ve become immune to the Kool Aid. I don’t want to hear any more excuses from management, coaches, team leaders or pocket media about how we played well but:
    … The hockey gods hate us, we lacked finish, we got some bad bounces, we have a buncha injuries, we had some bad luck. Good teams FIND A WAY TO effing WIN! Yes you have to stay positive but at this stage- I want to see some fucking passion! Get angry! Find some resolve! Unite behind the fire that should be driving you to despise failure.

    /endrant

  5. Racki says:

    Here’s Andrew Ference’s take…

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/30/a-calm-yet-precise-observation

    Basically he puts it all in the players’ hands. It basically makes it sound like there are still a lot of those passengers that MacT or Krueger or someone talked about last year. I think it’s true, and kind of why I’ve harped on trading certain players.

    I’ll avoid names for now, but I think when I watch a game, there are guys who disappear for very long stretches of a game. They look pretty on a shift or two, and others, it’s like.. helloo… what’s going on there? As Ference said, that can’t be. You can have dips in the season where you have troubles scoring, but you can’t have dips in your play where you don’t compete. That’s not how it works in the NHL.

  6. Racki says:

    Continuing with that theme.. here’s my guess as to guys who don’t always give that 100% level.. now their 75% is likely better than most guys’ 100%… but still…. bolded ones are who I guess are culprits.

    Forward:

    Acton – I think his play is fairly consistent.
    Arco – Pretty stable level of work ethic from what I can tell.
    Eager – Inconsistent compete
    Eberle – Seems to turn it up when the chips are down late in the game, implying that he’s not always giving 100%..
    Gagner – Seems to consistently give 100%
    Gazdic – His 100% is most players 10%, but he gives 100%.
    Gordon – constant 100%
    Hall – Constant 100%
    Hemsky – better this year, I thought, but he is prone to very long disappearances throughout career.
    Joensuu – not seen him enough yet.
    Jones – seems to give a fairly consistent effort
    Nuge – fairly consistent, but like Eberle, also turns it up late in the game, implying that gear should be there earlier.
    Perron – seems fairly consistent offensively.. not certain defensively.. need to watch more closely.
    Pitlick – showed he is consistent so far.. small sample
    Smyth – Old dawg.. typically gives his best that he can
    Yakupov – prone to disappearances.. not a consistent effort.

    Defense:
    Belov – I feel he typically gives his all.
    Ference – Seems to give his all, even if it might not be top end
    Petry – I feel he gives his all
    J. Schultz – I feel he conserves energy an awful lot.
    N. Schultz – finding some consistency.. he’s a tough one to judge, because you typically don’t notice the stay at homers.
    Smid – I feel he gives his all

    You’ll notice a pretty common theme above… mostly the big-game guys that I point out. I again will note that I think their coast mode is often better than the average guy’s hustle mode. But I think Ference’s point is you’ve got to be battling all game. You can’t pick shifts when to battle or the other team will catch you napping and score and/or you won’t catch the other team at opportune times and waste opportunities.

    I’m sure me listing the Nuge comes as a big surprise. I don’t fault him too much though. Again, like Eberle, I think there are moments where you see these guys kick it into high gear, which again just implies.. where as that top gear in period 2? Hall is a different story.. he’s pushing the play all he can for an entire 20+ minutes. They need to watch and learn from that.

    Yakupov takes a page from the old Ales Hemsky handbook… play 5 shifts where you just float around waiting for something to happen, then do something mind blowing on the 6th. Hemsky’s improved in that area though. Most nights I see him working harder. So I might have a little bias on him. But Yak… he reminds me of Hemmer in that regard.. one shift he’ll be working hard (and likely cough up the puck).. next you’re wondering what he’s doing. He seems to be more committed to defense since being benched though, and I think it’s more a case now of him just not knowing where to be all the time just yet (which he’ll learn).

    Now the non-bolded names… there are some in there that give you 100% all night, and their 100% is great. But then there are those that give you 100% all night, but their 100% just isn’t good enough.

  7. john says:

    ^ I have no issues with the above list. I think I’ve already said it this in a previous post but it’s very relevent; Eberle is a different player this year & not for the better. He came out in preseason with a brand new arrogance that I haven’t seen before. Skating nonchalantly around the rink, only going after the puck if it was within stick reach & during a couple interviews he threw out the old “…skill guys like me…” references when asked how the new players would fit in with the team *insert eye roll*.

    On a brighter note my wife is thrilled because she’s under the impression that games are only an hour & a half long this season :P

  8. Racki says:

    Yah, don’t get me wrong though.. I like all the guys I’ve bolded, save for maybe Eager, who serves little purpose. I think each of these guys is a great player, but could stand to be pushing the pace more consistently. This of course doesn’t make them bad players either.. as I said, when they give 80%, that’s still more valuable than others on the ice. I also personally quite like Eberle. I know there’s a bit of a split on fans on him, which to me is a little odd..but you’re not alone there. I just have felt that he’s not consistently battling every shift. Maybe I’m nitpicking? I don’t know.

    This shift consistency is also only one problem. While this is what Ference sees as the problem, this is the captain thing to say…. he can’t go and say that his blue line has no one on it that can carry the team, or that the team has shakey goaltending or anything like that. But I do think he has a point with the battle level consistency, which is why I brought it up.. so I figured I’d look down the list and try and figure out who might be the most obvious culprits.

    There are 3 that REALLY jump off the page (aside from Eager) and that’s Schultz, Yakupov and Hemmer. Hemmer, again.. I’m trying to give him a bit more grace, as I’ve seen him getting better this year in consistency.. but over his long career, we’ve all seen him disappear. Yakupov… well.. he’s showing more commitment to D… but I’m not sure he fully grasps the concepts yet, and I wonder if he realizes why he should be doing it either…. Schultz… always had a bit of an issue with him. Phenomenal puck mover with good ability to jump in on a play, but I really despise his D reads. He tends to take a Pronger-esque approach to the game.. conserve energy. He sits back and waits , when it comes to D.. and often times that means someone burning him in some way. I think he’s looked a little better recently, but he still gets caught watching the play and seldom pushes himself in the D zone. That just isn’t good… and it’s costly.

    It should be noted that these guys do a lot of things right, however, so in no way am I hanging losses on them. But I think there’s been times where we’ve all said something like “man, if worked as hard as <4th line plugger guy> every game, the score would be a lot different. Why is it those lesser players always find gas in the tank to battle?

  9. john says:

    Maybe if/when Hemsky gets traded the Oilers should pull a B.B. ala San Jose & move Jchultz to the wing ? Then we have room on D for… Braydon Coburn!

  10. Alan-NottsUK says:

    twice this game the oilers hit the post and the leafs went and scored at the other end, the entire season in a nutshell. (vancouver game aside which was a complete shambles and it looked like no shits were given)

  11. Racki says:

    I don’t think the score told the tale of this game, but how long do we blame bad luck for though?

  12. hemmerlady says:

    I get that the fan base is frustrated (see my above rant) but I’d like to declare an immediate moritorium on any future insults hurled at the coach of the team fans allegedly support. Thou shalt not yell “you suck” to the coach in front of his five year old daughter. Honestly. I don’t know where people get the nerve, or think that sort of Busch league bullshit is okay. Plus how helpful can it be to get in his face like that? Bad form.

    Don’t know, Racki. As said before good teams find a way to win. But We’ve had exceptionally bad luck for way too long…Luck be a lady.

    I liked your post about the compete level and I completely agree. The blue-collar team of the late 90′s never said die, and their skill level was marginal. I definitely think that could be the difference. I say get Doug Weight in the locker room for a special pep talk.

  13. Alan-NottsUK says:

    Racki:
    I don’t think the score told the tale of this game, but how long do we blame bad luck for though?

    I don’t blame bad luck, the team aren’t taking chances, when they were the goaltending was sucking.

    hopefully soon the skaters and goalie will both have a good game at the same time

  14. Racki says:

    On a related note… Dallas Eakins has basically dropped the swarm… or at least the aggressive version of it. Eakins apparently doesn’t feel like the team knows the basics of defense (uh.. WOW!), so he’s rebooting things. He said he shouldn’t have tried to teach a complicated system for a group that doesn’t have a good grasp on D.

  15. john says:

    I’d like to see any form of defense that this team could be good at.

  16. Racki says:

    LOL, yup. Yikes.

    Right now they are in a rut where it seems like there is nothing they are good at … can’t score either.

  17. john says:

    Per Darren Dreger, NHL On TSN tonight: “…MacT is feverishly working the phones, reports are that he’s looking for as many as 3 or 4 defensemen…” Maybe the winds of change are blowing finally, what the cost & results will be could turn this team in the right direction or cripple it for another 7 years.

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