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Category: Edmonton-Oilers

Craig MacTavish Still Behind The Bench And A Look At Johnny Gaudreau

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

General manager Craig MacTavish doesn’t have a firm timetable on how long he’ll stay behind the Edmonton Oilers’ bench as co-coach with former OKC head man Todd Nelson, but he’s in no rush to move back upstairs to watch his struggling team. He still figures he’s learning more about his players body language and compete level at ice-level than 100 feet away in the pressbox.

MacTavish will eventually hand-off to Nelson to get a read on the former AHL coach and whether his tag will go from interim to full head coach after the season. But for now, it’s a two-headed co-coaching Oiler situation with assistant Craig Ramsay also on the bench, and Keith Acton and Rocky Thompson up in the pressbox looking things over.

“It doesn’t feel well to leave right now,” said MacTavish, who needs a longer assessment of his players–weeks, not days because there’s the initial play-hard-for-the-new-guys-behind-the-bench with every guy, then the ultimate you-can’t-change-a-leopard’s-spots mentality.

continued

Also from Matheson,

What makes Gaudreau special? “He skates as fast with the puck as without it and that’s very tough. Many players you give them the puck and it almost transforms the puck into a curling rock. Where does the speed go,” said Hartley. “He’s so quick in tight areas and what he did in LA (against one of the biggest teams in the league) is a great step for his career. There’s many more steps to come, but to get a hat-trick, to put pucks at the net (behind Jonathan Quick). We’ve been preaching at him to shoot more (70 shots in 35 games).”

“He’s just scratching the surface. He wants to contribute, his defence has come such a long way, and he’s proud. When things don’t go well in our end and he comes back to the bench, you can tell he can cares. He’s not a one-trick pony who just cares about goals and assists. He wants this team to win,” said Hartley.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+mactavish, johnny+gaudreau

The Once Feared Western Canada Road Trip

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Before Johnny Hockey did his thing in L.A., enraging Jonathan Quick and stunning the Kings Monday night, the Calgary Flames had lost eight games in a row.

Before the Canucks handed Calgary that eighth straight defeat and then received the largesse extended by Arizona goalie Mike Smith who was dressed as Santa Claus, the Canucks had lost five straight.

And the Oilers? Well that is a tale of woe still running strong.

That dream squad has one win in its last 20 games, and despite the fact the Oil scored five goals against Dallas Sunday in blowing a third-period lead and three goals in their previous loss to San Jose, the team with all the high-end forwards making a ton of money early in their lives still has just 27 goals in its last 16 games.

The point here is that unless these past couple of somewhat questionable wins for the Canucks and Monday night’s miracle finish for the Flames signal a significant turnaround, Western Canada is quickly becoming a place where you want to play. It’s been a patsy place in December.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Another Loss For The Edmonton Oilers

from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,

Ho. Ho. Ho-hum.

For a team that has given away as many points as the Edmonton Oilers have this season, it was only fitting they could continue the tradition in their final game before the Christmas break.

In spite of the fact that the Arizona Coyotes had been smacked around to the tune of 7-1 by the Vancouver Canucks less than 24 hours earlier, in spite of the fact that the Rexall Place visitors had won just two of their previous 12 games, the Oilers just coasted to a 5-1 defeat.

They have now lost 19 of their last 20 games, but what made Tuesday’s result even more head scratching was that the Oilers had at least been in the three games they had played after interim head coach Todd Nelson and general manager Craig MacTavish took over for Dallas Eakins. 

continued

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The Oilers hit the Christmas break with one win in 24 games against the Western Conference.

That’s 1-16-6 if you want to declare the loser points.

They’ve now been outscored 92 to 48 versus the West.

At least December is coming to an end.

The Oilers, you might want to know, have won an NHL-low number of games — 27 in all — in the month of December since owner Daryl Katz took over the team to start the 2008-09 season.

What do you do now? Fire one of the interim coaches?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Losing Continues In Edmonton

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Welcome to Edmonton, Todd Nelson.

Losing has become an art form here.

It’s creative. It’s inventive. It’s ingenious. It’s inspired.

And Sunday night’s latest was a game to be framed in terms of the way it is in the late great City of Champions.

How long will Nelson have to wait to get his first NHL win as a head coach?

Well, he only has 48 games left to coach in his interim job replacing Dallas Eakins for the rest of the season.

The way this is going, it might not be long enough.

The Oilers have now lost 18 of their last 19. And while they have two coming up after Christmas against the Calgary Flames, losers of their last eight in a row, nobody is holding their breath on Edmonton winning either game.

continued

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Why A Boston/Edmonton Trade Won’t Work

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle would be good Bruins. They are 23 and 24 years old, respectively.

Hall is under contract through 2020 and Eberle is locked up until 2019, both at $6 million annually. They can score, which is a talent that is eluding the Bruins.

Yet the Bruins are missing two critical elements: tradable assets and cap space. Edmonton needs an ace goalie, centers, and defensemen. The Bruins aren’t dealing Tuukka Rask, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are here for good. Zdeno Chara has a no-move clause. That leaves Dougie Hamilton and Carl Soderberg as the two players that would interest the Oilers for either of their top-line forwards.

There’s no match in salary. And the Bruins would be moving a pace-pushing, two-way defenseman who projects to develop into Chara’s replacement. Translation: It ain’t happening.

more hockey topics...

added 8:30am, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune on the Oilers...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Here Comes The Tyler Seguin And Taylor Hall Comparison

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Tyler Seguin is off to Edmonton on Saturday morning, and you know what that means: Another round of Tyler-Taylor questions are coming – and these ones will be more pointed than ever, given their current career trajectories.

Tyler Seguin is on the rise. If he were a stock, it would be on the verge of a split. Seguin currently leads the NHL in goals and points, a rare feat in today’s game. Since the NHL introduced the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy in 1999 to reward the NHL’s goal-scoring leader, only one player has managed to win both goal- and point-scoring titles in a single year, and that was Alex Ovechkin in 2008. Before that, you have to go back to 1996 and Mario Lemieux for the last time it happened.

Taylor Hall’s stock, meantime, is flat. In fact, some of the NHL’s so-called insider traders put Hall’s name on the sell list this week, after the Oilers fired coach Dallas Eakins and replaced him, on an interim basis, with the tandem of Craig MacTavish and Todd Nelson. MacTavish is the Oilers’ general manager and after reluctantly removing Eakins he promised a top-to-bottom review of the organization on the grounds that the team’s current struggles reflect a deeper problem than just coaching.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: taylor+hall, tyler+seguin

Starting All Over Again In Edmonton

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

This phenomenon – of starting over again – is not something teams want to acknowledge, because it makes everybody look bad; and really amounts to the hardest sell in professional sport.

Teams genuinely believe they cannot turn to their fan base and blurt out the painful reality – that Plan A didn’t work and so now, they’re off to Plan B. Just trust us, this one will work better. Really, it will....

f the Oilers continue to struggle, they’ll have a chance to land a Toews-like piece in either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the 2015 NHL entry draft. The question they’ll need to ask – and this is why MacTavish is behind the bench right now – is which of the players from spinning-their-wheels stage of the team’s rebuild survive, and which ones move on?

more and Duhatschek uses the Chicago Blackhawks as an example...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ray Ferraro On The Edmonton Oilers

from Bruce McCurday of The Cult of Hockey,

I daresay I’m not the only Edmonton Oilers fan who gets sick and tired of the team getting called out in the national media. Especially so when those critics are all too willing to throw in gratuitous insults about the city and the fanbase, as if we are somehow deserving of our lot in life supporting a club that has become something of a laughing stock for its constant, ongoing futility.

I am, however, prepared to make exceptions for fully informed commentators who are able to focus on the real problems while sparing the cheap shots. The man at the top of that list may well be Ray Ferraro, the TSN broadcaster who once worked as a regional colour man for the Oilers from 2003-08 and who has followed the team’s (mis)fortunes closely ever since.  Ferraro has been harsh in his criticisms of the team to the point that some consider him an Oiler-hater, but to my ear many if not most of those assessments are valid, at least to a degree.

Take Wednesday afternoon’s segment on the Jason Gregor Show, when Ferraro let fly for the better part of 20 minutes in his usual shoot-from-the-hip fashion that emerges from his mouth in complete sentences and a high degree of articulateness that puts some of us writers to shame....

Ray Ferrrar speaks...

They’re coming off a guy that hasn’t coached in the NHL before, and they need a guy to transition the new coach. To me that’s a red flag. I would have thought given the disarray that the Oilers are in — and contrary to what Craig [MacTavish] has said, I don’t think they look much better than last year — and my thought has been somebody along the lines of Terry Murray, he’s been around the game for 35 years, he’s a real stickler for discipline, and he’s probably better with a young team than an older team. That would have been my thought had I been in charge. I look what Winnipeg did last year when they went from Claude Noel to Paul Maurice, there was no transitioning needing. Now Todd Nelson may turn out to be a fine coach, I just don’t know enough about him, but I do know he hasn’t coached in the NHL before.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+ferraro

Video- With Less Than A Second Left In OT, The Edmonton Oilers Lose To The Arizona Coyotes

from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,

“Point three seconds,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “I couldn’t believe it. I looked up, thinking it would be five seconds, 10 seconds. Of course, it has to be under a second left.” ...

With just three tenths of a second left on the overtime clock, Martin Erat slipped around Nugent-Hopkins with the puck and before the Oilers could say shootout, Oliver Ekman-Larsson beat Ben Scrivens with the winner.

“Heartbreaker,” said (Todd) Nelson. “I think there were five seconds left, the play was on the wall near our bench, and all of a sudden, they have a rush and Larsson makes a great shot.” 

“It sucks. It really does. It’s just like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” said captain Andrew Ference. “Those plays are extremely frustrating, but you can’t toss the positives out of the window. We were playing for the win.

“Yeah, the final play of the game sticks with you, and it’s hard to shake off, but you can’t constantly beat yourself up about it.” 

more on the game and watch the Oliver Ekman-Larsson goal below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: oliver+ekman-larsson

Just Going To Leave This Here

 

More in the recent timeline of Damien Cox.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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