Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Robert Thcykowski of the Edmonton Sun,
Some Oilers fans are now actually cheering for losses.
A city that once followed Mark Messier’s lead is now giggling about finishing last and weaseling into a better draft lottery position.
Seriously, Dishonour for Connor isn’t funny. It’s embarrassing.
That’s not what sports is about, it’s not what Edmonton is about....
Edmonton sports fans insist that their teams compete hard and win, that they be the gold standards in their leagues, the team other teams aspire to be on and off the field.
And now a segment of the fan base is actually cheering for the Oilers to lose, celebrating roster moves that might ensure a 30th place finish in the misguided hope that Rebuild III, centered around Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, will somehow undo a decade’s worth of bad management, poor scouting and losing culture?
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
Jeff Petry is 27-years-old, in the prime of his career as an NHL defenceman. He’s likely got five or six years left where he will play at peak or near peak performance.
Petry has also been the most steady defenceman on the Edmonton Oilers for years now. He’s constantly sent out to play against the toughest competition in the NHL’s toughest conference, but more than any other Oilers d-man, he’s held his own. In fact, most d-men on the Oilers have wilted when asked to face the monster attackers of the West game in, game out, forwards such as Ryan Getzlaf, Anze Kopitar, David Backes and Jonathan Toews. But Petry has done OK. He’s not the kind of true No. 1 d-man the Oilers need, but he’s shown he can generally hold his own against the best of the best.
He’s not a great passer, but he passes OK. He’s not the toughest NHLer, but he generally takes the man. He’s not a big point producer, but he’s asked to carry the puck a ton and he moves it fine.
added 12:34pm, Penguins' release is below...
“You can complicate it, but at the end of the day, it’s the most consistent teams that execute the details and play smart hockey that win. I mean, they cover up mistakes better than the other guys. Every team makes mistakes. It’s the guys that sense that danger and cover up for their teammates consistently and create multiple layers to go through all the time that win. It’s nothing fancy.”
“The competition in this league is so high now. Defensive systems are so tight, and players are so consistent and responsible that even if you’re pretty good at it, if you make five or 10 mistakes a game, there’s your one-goal [loss] – because the other team is making only four to six mistakes. That’s the way the league is, and you have to bring yourself up to that higher standard. It’s just the way it is.”
-Andrew Ference, captain of the Edmonton Oilers. Much more from and on Ference by Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.
Darryl Sutter via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
On Ben Scrivens having to change the color of his stick tape:
It’s a rule. You have to have white tape on your stick. [Reporter: Did you just notice it then in the shootout?] No. If you check the books, he played for us.
The Los Angeles Kings pulled a little bit of gamesmanship on Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens during the shootout, complaining about his orange coloured knob on his stick.
The Oilers did win in the shootout...
via an Edmonton Oilers press release,
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have acquired centre Derek Roy from the Nashville Predators, in exchange for centre Mark Arcobello.
Roy, 31, has appeared in 26 games for the Predators this season, posting 10 points (1G, 9A) and two penalty minutes.
The native of Ottawa, Ontario, has spent time with the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators through 11 NHL seasons, accumulating 502 points (178G, 324A) and 369 penalty minutes in 692 career NHL games
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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