Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There was so much focus on Toronto yesterday in the aftermath of the embarrassing loss to the Predators, but I suspect we need to keep just as close an eye on Edmonton, where the Oilers dropped to 0-9-1 against Western Conference teams this season with the loss to Vancouver. Simply unacceptable.
I know management in Edmonton was not going to sit on its hands and let another debacle of a season roll by without any action. They're craving a trade for a center, although that's easier said than done. And you wonder about the job security for Eakins if the losses continue. Not sure exactly which direction Oilers management will go, but if the losing continues, I'll be shocked if something doesn't happen in the next month or two.
read on for Strang, Burnside and Custance on either the Leafs or the Oilers...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
General manager Craig MacTavish is trying to give Eakins more ammunition. Ex-Bruins assistant Craig Ramsay, one of the game’s sharpest defensive minds, is in his first year at Eakins’s side. David Pelletier, a former Olympic figure skater, is in his first season as Edmonton’s skating coach. Tyler Dellow, an ex-analytics blogger, is a hockey operations consultant.
This summer, MacTavish acquired Nikitin and Teddy Purcell. He drafted Leon Draisaitl with this year’s third overall pick. He signed unrestricted free agents Pouliot and Mark Fayne.
But the Oilers are still falling short. Despite three No. 1 overall picks and eight straight playoff no-shows, the Oilers need help at all three positions. Deals are hard because Edmonton is on many players’ no-trade clauses.
On Wednesday, the Oilers practiced at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. MacTavish spent part of the practice chatting with BU coach David Quinn. Given his team’s start, MacTavish could be calling the name of Jack Eichel, Quinn’s freshman prodigy, at next year’s draft.
The Oilers need a big center like Eichel, who projects to be a generational player. But he can’t help MacTavish and Eakins now.
Eakins is trying. He is a cerebral, curious, and energetic coach. But he doesn’t have the players needed to challenge Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose in the Pacific Division. So Eakins will continue to grind.
more plus other hockey topics...
from David Staples of the Cult of Hockey,
Fire the coach? Make a trade? Hmmmm. Isn’t a total organizational housecleaning in order?
This just in from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who spoke on the radio this morning (as reported by Nichols on Hockey): “I’ve got to believe that there’ll be a significant trade for the Oilers before there would be a coaching change.”
For now, the Oilers should do neither a major trade, nor should they fire the coach.
The season is still young, let’s see how this team is doing after 30 games. If a trade is needed, useful players can be brought in to play centre, defence and goal without giving up the farm.
The NHL with the explanation...
Watch the hit below if you missed it late last night and also watch what Ference says post-game about the hit.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
“The problem with evolution and maturity is it takes time,” the Oilers coach said before Saturday night’s meeting with the Vancouver Canucks. “You’d like to flip the switch but it doesn’t work that way.
“I think a lot of people in hockey and in Canada forget how young they are and I’m as guilty of it as anyone.”
Yeah, yeah. Patience. Process. Maturity. We’ve heard it all before. Wake me up when you’ve got something new to offer. Like a winning streak.
But here’s the thing about the Oilers, maybe the most interesting team in the Western Conference. As much as the clichés grate, as much as they sound empty, they are entirely applicable in this case. This team, which represents an impossibly rich collection of young talent, will be good one day. They might even be great. That’s an inevitability.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Edmonton Oilers lost 4-1 at home to Nashville on Wednesday night, remaining winless on the season versus teams in the Western Conference but a perfect 4-0-0 against the Eastern Conference. The problem, of course, is the Oilers play more of their games in the West. They'll need to figure out Big Boy hockey if they're going to contend for a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Pekka Rinne improved to 6-1-1 on the season for the Preds, currently sporting a 1.71 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. It's a reminder of just how much the Preds missed their anchor netminder last year when he battled a hip injury/infection for most of the season. Now that he's healthy, Nashville is a threat to make the playoffs.
read on for Burnside on the no-goal in Washington, Custance on Marian Hossa and Strang on John Moore...
Detroit/Washington, not only was the goal waived off, but Luke Glendening received 2 minutes for interference...
Then in the Nashville/Edmonton game...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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