Posts tagged: edmonton

W – Oilers 3, Sens 1 – Game 9 – 2013-10-19 @ 12:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , October 19, 2013 1:14 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Ottawa Senators
logo at logo
1-6-1 Record 3-2-2
Location: Canadian Tire Centre
Date: October 19, 2013 @ 12:00PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

So I won’t doom and gloom this one too much. The Oilers are in a poor spot in the standings… sounds like the Corsi war is slowly being lost. The Oilers started just over 50% in the first few games, but as of late are now are around 45%, in the last couple of games (stats courtesy of ROMULUS APOTHEOSIS on Lowetide). I’m not going to concern myself with those numbers too much, as it is just two games, and we should expect that the numbers will fluctuate. The first 6 games were pretty much hovering around 50%. I’m starting to realize I have to buy into this whole Corsi thing and advanced stats in general a bit more, as voodoo as they are. I feel like Craig MacTavish, refusing to wear a Jofa bucket because it might crush my beautiful curly locks. I’m not going to focus on them too much, but I definitely will pay more attention.

I think this new “swarm defense” is SORT of working. What I’ve observed is it seems to be prone to breakdowns, very easily. Or at least, the Oilers execution of that is prone to breakdowns. Guys are often left alone in very dangerous scoring positions.. I don’t really like it at all, and have started to wonder how much longer it will last before the Oilers go to a more basic approach like zone defense. I suspect that Dallas Eakins will cling onto this like MacTavish clinging onto the no-helmet stance, and me refusing to fully buy into these newfangled advanced stats. He did seem to buckle a little bit, as he admitted recently that on the plane he really considered changing things up. I am thinking what that means is dumping the swarm. I want to make one thing straight though.. I think it’s probably a good system. I just don’t think it’s something these players are grasping well enough. So.. what’s the over under on how long until Eakins switches to zone defense? You don’t want to panic too much, but I think it’s clear that the Oilers grip on man-to-man defense last year was terrible. Apparently Detroit uses the swarm. I’m not sure if they still do, but what made me believe that is this quote from Kyle Quincey:

“In the D zone, I’d never heard of ‘the swarm’ before I got here,” said defenseman Kyle Quincey, who spent 2005-08 in the Wings organization, left for almost four seasons, then returned at the trade deadline last year. “He never talked about that eight years ago. But if you look around on video, all the teams do it now. He’s definitely a very good systems coach. He’s definitely challenged me to a better player, for sure. A lot of skating in this system.”

We all know the Oilers have been trying to follow the Red Wings model for quite some time.

It’s the wee hours of the morning.. forward lines are quite likely, as these were Friday’s practice lines. Not sure about the D-lines or starting goaltender, but I assume there won’t be changes there.
Continue reading 'W – Oilers 3, Sens 1 – Game 9 – 2013-10-19 @ 12:00 PM MST – SNETW'»

L – Oilers 2 , Capitals 4 – Game 6 – 2013-10-14 @ 5:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , October 14, 2013 11:31 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Washington Capitals
logo at logo
1-3-1 Record 1-4-0
Location: Verizon Center
Date: October 14, 2013 @ 5:00PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

So the hot button topic for the Oilers these days is of course goaltending. Even Dubnyk would admit how disappointing this has been for the Oilers this year (that article I just linked makes me feel terrible for Dubnyk). I feel bad for him too, as you know he is the type that tries to carry the team on his back, even if it’s questionable whether he’s the guy that can. He wants to win every game, and I believe he competes hard, but there have been some questionable goals going in the net lately. When it rains, it pours for a goaltender. It’s hard for a goalie to battle back once they’ve lost that confidence. I really hope he can regain his form. I never really thought of him as a top-level goaltender, but he was all the Oilers needed. Unfortunately, as of late, he hasn’t been his usual self. He’s regressed a lot. He’s not making stops that he should be able to stop and you know he’s beating himself up over it. My stance is that the Oilers need to go out and grab a cheap goalie as a stop gap. They can re-visit goaltending in July. Dubnyk will be a UFA then, and there will be some good goalies on the market (assuming close to status quo on contracts).

Anyways, on to tonight’s game. I would have to figure that Labarbera gets the start in this one. Yakupov is rumored to be sitting out this one, again. Joanne Ireland has a good article up about Yakupov. Well, it’s good and it’s bad. It has a good bit from Eakins, explaining the decision. I was fine with it to begin with. I didn’t really care for Yakupov’s response in the article though. It worries me a little bit, to be honest. I’m the type to give most players the benefit of doubt when it comes to quotes though. So I won’t read much into it at this point, and you can all go there and read and formulate your own opinions. I just didn’t like the “I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game” quote. It might not be your game, but if it’s the Oilers’ game, you do it. That’s what I want to hear. I’ll let him off the hook for now, and hope that he gets back on the ice soon and plays the team game fully. We can criticize some other players on the team for doing things like making bad passes, or pinching in at the wrong time, but I think most guys on this team are doing their best to play Eakins’ system. Is Yakupov? I want to think he is. I am not going to give up on him or anything… just want to see him play the team game here and not complain about it. Anyways, enough on that!

The Oilers are playing good enough hockey that they should be winning games. Hopefully they get a good battle out of their goaltender tonight and can win this one.

Continue reading 'L – Oilers 2 , Capitals 4 – Game 6 – 2013-10-14 @ 5:00 PM MST – SNETW'»

OTL – Oilers 5, Maple Leafs 6 – Game 5 – 2013-10-10 @ 5:00 PM MST – CBC

By , October 12, 2013 12:25 pm
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs
logo at logo
1-3-0 Record 4-1-0
Location: Air Canada Centre
Date: October 12, 2013 @ 5:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

Call this the reverse-Corsi battle. The Oilers are doing quite well in “Corsi” (Google that if you don’t know what it is.. but basically the way “stats guys” prefer to measure how well a game is going for a team), the Maple Leafs are not. The Maple Leafs are winning… the Oilers are not. So the “stats guys” predict a rise for the Oilers, and a drop off for the Maple Leafs eminent. It’s rare to see the “stats guys” talk in a positive light about the Oilers, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out after 82 games. The Oilers are also doing very well in one regular stat.. face off percentage. The Oilers are 3rd in the league with a team 56.8%. I believe this is due to a better “team” focus on faceoffs. The wingers are just as important to winning a draw. I also believe that Gordon is phenomenal at this skill, and his knowledge is likely Continue reading 'OTL – Oilers 5, Maple Leafs 6 – Game 5 – 2013-10-10 @ 5:00 PM MST – CBC'»

L – Oilers 2, Canucks 6 – Game 2 – 2013-10-05 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC

By , October 5, 2013 10:22 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
logo at logo
0-1-0 Record 0-1-0
Location: Rogers Arena
Date: October 5, 2013 @ 8:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

Whatever happened to the Battle of Alberta? Seems like Calgary dropped out, and Vancouver made it about the Battle of Western Canada. There is some bad blood between these teams. The last game these two played was in pre-season. In that game, Dale Weise took a run at Taylor Hall, seemingly trying to decapitate him with a hit to the head. Weise was suspended 3 pre-season games for the hit. The other incident was from Zack Kassian. It doesn’t seem like a far fetched story that Kassian is still learning how to skate properly and keep his arms from flailing around like an infant… after all, he’s only in the NHL. Kassian broke Sam Gagner’s jaw when the brick-head missed a check... on the play he decided he’d swing his arm and stick as hard as he could towards Sam Gagner’s head. This was accidentally on purpose. I’m not so sure he meant to hit Gagner in the face, but you’d have to be beyond useless of a hockey player to really swing your arm like that after missing a check. I’m not even sure that Doug Glatt would have done that. Kassian will miss this game, as he was suspended for the remainder of the pre-season plus 5 regular season games. I’m sure the Canucks will miss him so much compared to the Oilers and Gagner. That’s the way it goes, I guess. Anyways, those stories set the mood for this one. Bad blood.

I don’t entirely blame the Canucks. This is the type of game I want to see the Oilers play, minus the stupid stick swinging by Kassian. The Oilers are missing that edge in the game. I’m hoping that Luke Gazdic brings some of that edge. In his first game, he had a goal and a decisive fight win vs. Chris Thorburn (who is no slouch). He looks like he can play hockey, plus he’s a very skilled fighter. As long as he can play hockey around a Mike Brown level (obviously better would be preferable) I’ll be happy. I think this 4th line will need to play an important game tonight. Going into Rogers Arena, Eakins won’t have last change, so it will be tough to get the right match-up for that line.
Continue reading 'L – Oilers 2, Canucks 6 – Game 2 – 2013-10-05 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC'»

Oilers 5, Canucks 2 – Preseason Game 5 – 2013-09-21 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC

By , September 21, 2013 11:37 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers vs Vancouver Canucks
logo vs logo
2-1-1 Record 0-2-0
Location: Rexall Place
Date: Sept 21, 2013 @ 8:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

I should caution that it’s just pre-season and they’ve only played 2 games, but let’s all snicker that the Canucks are sitting at the basement of the Pacific currently. OK, it’s not likely they’ll stay there very long. The Oilers and Canucks meet yet again, this time at Rexall. The Oilers won the last one pretty handily, by a score of 4-1 after what looked like the start of a repeat of the last game of the season. After Luongo was mercifully yanked, the came calmed down. Eriksson played a perfect period, stopping 9 of 9 shots he faced. You have to wonder if he’ll get the start tonight (or another backup) since the Oilers seem to have Luongo’s number, as of late.

The Oilers just tweeted out the lines.. they are below. I am really excited to see Jujhar Khaira in non-grainy, HD goodness. He is one of the more promising players coming up in the Oilers system. He’ll play with Yakupov on one side, which could make for a good threat, and Ryan Hamilton on the other side. The top line as of late looks to be the Hall centered line of Smyth-Hall-Hemsky. They haven’t been putting up much for points yet. That’s been a task filled by Jordan Eberle.. a guy who undeservedly had been oddly kicked around in several fan trade ideas this off-season.. wtf??). He’s got 4 points in 2 games so far. And how about Martin Marincin?? He has himself a couple goals already too, also in 2 games. As such, he’s been able to stick around past the first couple of cuts. There have been some interesting, unexpected things happening this off-season. Part of that has been the play of Jesse Joensuu (3 points in as many games, including 2 goals). He’s been earning himself some good reviews from most people.

As for Hall and Hemsky and Smyth.. the points aren’t there yet, but they will come. They are also playing the tough minutes / tough competition, allowing the other lines to put up their numbers. They’ve been doing this well too. Again, I caution that it’s only been a couple of games, but I love what I see of that line so far, even though I wonder how long Smyth can ride with Hemsky and Hall.

Tonight will be our first look at Anton Belov! I’m excited about that. He will play with Denis Grebeshkov. To steal MacT’s quote, that could be a pair that will be “dangerous at both ends of the ice”. It all depends on how honed Belov’s D game is, as I don’t think Grebeshkov is going to be the defensive guy for that pairing.

I am liking the lines I’ve seen so far. I think if I had to put a top 9 together for the opener, I’d go with:
Smyth-Hall-Hemsky
Perron-Gagner-Eberle
Joensuu-Gordon-Yakupov

I will likely be around for game day chat tongiht if anyone else shows up!
Continue reading 'Oilers 5, Canucks 2 – Preseason Game 5 – 2013-09-21 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC'»

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