Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Chris Wescott of the Oilers' website,
The Oilers worked on their conditioning today at practice, skating sets of lines.
“It’s on the calendar,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins explained. “When we sit down at the start of the year, I sit down with our strength staff and our exercise physiologist and we break the season down into places where we’re going to do some hard work. Then there are parts of the season where we pull right off. We haven’t had a stretch so far where we’ve been able to get some extra work in. The conditioning day was on the calendar, and it ended up being a little tougher because of our numbers out there. Usually you have eight D or an extra forward or a couple of extra forwards out there. With the bare minimum of four lines and six D, it taxes them fairly quickly.”
In addition to their conditioning, the Oilers ran battle drills all practice.
“Our practice showed today that we’re upping our compete level, upping our intensity and upping our work ethic,” Jordan Eberle said. “Like we’ve spoken about before, it’s not on the coach, not on the GM, it’s on us in here and we know that. We’ve addressed that in the locker room, guy to guy and we’ll be better.”
from Chris Ryndak of the Sabres' website,
from the CP via TSN,
Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish says everything in the organization is under evaluation as the last-place team continues to underperform despite an influx of high draft picks and young talent in recent years.
MacTavish told a news conference today the coaching staff, led by second-year head coach Dallas Eakins, and the players are "under scrutiny."
Eakins' future has been called into question several times already this season as the Oilers have managed just six wins and are currently mired in an 11-game losing streak.
MacTavish, who has also been on the hotseat in Edmonton, says the players need to take more responsibility.
He blamed "execution on the ice" for the team's struggles.
via a press release from the Edmonton Oilers,
Craig MacTavish will address the Oilers performance through 26 games and take questions from the media.
Watch below, it is scheduled to begin at 11:00am ET.
added 11:32am, Conference is over.
added 11:46am, Video of the press conference can be viewed below...
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The trade winds are kicking up with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli making stops at other NHL arenas to scout players for potential trades for a Boston team that’s in a serious offensive drought. Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos is reporting that there’s “strong speculation” the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers are revisiting trade talk that goes back to this summer when Johnny Boychuk was one of the names being mentioned before Boston’s deal with the Islanders.
Those past discussions also involved third line center Chris Kelly and perhaps either Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban for an Edmonton team in dire need of quality goaltending, and it’s believed that right wing Jordan Eberle has always been the desired top line target for the Black and Gold....
One thing that is a fact: Edmonton management covets power forward Milan Lucic and would be extremely interested in netting the punishing left wing in a deal with the Bruins, but don’t count on that one happening with the B’s looking to get heavier on their sticks rather than lighter with any moves that they make.
Stay turned on this one as Chiarelli is obviously highly motivated to make moves that help his team after watching the Bruins grind it out for the last two months.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Again, it’s All’s Quiet on the Western Front (Oilers version). While Anaheim’s Bob Murray is wheeling and dealing (because of injury concerns mostly on his back-end) and fellow GM Marc Bergevin is making trade noises in Montreal to get defensive help and dumping players like Rene Bourque and proactively signing Brendan Gallagher to a six-year contract, the sounds of nothing happening in Edmonton is deafening.
Again, just say something MacT? Tell us you’re TANKING the season, not in those words (that’s an NHL no-no) and you see absolutely no need to put bandages on all the open sores on your hockey club now.
Eakins, who is in Year 2 of a four-year deal, doesn’t look or sound like a haunted man who’s going to lose job any time soon. As he said Wednesday morning after practice in Winnipeg, “this is not going to break me ... bring it on.” He did not look after the OT loss to the Jets like he was at the end of his rope. Frankly, he looks a lot more wrung out, stripped of his tie and jacket, shirt unbuttoned in his post-game pressers as he describes losses at Rexall Place, the NHL’s softest landing for visiting teams. Eight straight losses.
via Darren Dreger tweets,
I suspect the next few days will determine direction Oilers will go. Full forensic analysis from top to bottom will take place...
A culture change is required, but does firing coach and gm do that? Not if the team is fundamentally flawed. Tough decisions for Oil brass.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers haven't won on the road since a 5-3 victory in their unofficial second home, Pittsburgh, on Oct. 22.
Overall, they have lost 10 of their last 11, including six straight (0-4-2)....
I thought we lost the point tonight," coach Craig Berube said. "We’re up 3-1 and we have to shut the door. We’ve got to play smarter hockey in that situation. I thought we let them back in the game with defensive mistakes" that led to odd-man rushes.
more on the game...
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
After taking a third-period lead with a strong individual effort from David Perron, the Oilers gave up a late goal, then fell 3-2 in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets, extending their losing skid to 11 games.
Mathieu Perreault scored 17 seconds into overtime to give the Jets the win on a deflection in front, keeping the Oilers winless (0-12-4) against Western Conference opponents.
“I thought we played a textbook road game,” said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. “We settled in, into a building that is extremely loud and volatile. We settled into the game and I thought we played a mature road game. I thought we showed some growth from how we’ve played as of late and I believe if we can play that game every night, we’re going to win a lot of hockey games.”
Beginning with MacTavish and Lowe, I have many friends inside an organization that I have covered for 25 years. I am genuinely sad to say, I can hardly think of one person who deserves to keep their job.
-Mark Spector of Sportnet on the Edmonton Oilers. Read more from Spector on Edmonton....
Don Cherry tells Hockey Central at Noon that he feels for Oilers’ head coach Dallas Eakins, says he might actually be happy to get fired.
from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal,
If they made a film about this 2014-15 Oilers team, they’d title it The Blunder Boys, and it has veered from comedy into farce.
The Oilers constant repetition of mistake after giveaway after gaffe has become a joke, as team captain Andrew Ference emotionally underscored after their 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.
The Oilers blooper reel of gaffes, giveaways, pratfalls and collapses is feature-film length about now, just 25 games into an NHL season gone horribly wrong. The mistakes by the 6-15-4 Oilers blur into one by now, don’t they?
The Oilers performance Monday night is the sort that gets coaches fired, if not coaches and general managers as a package, deserved or not. When a team — a talented one — is bumbling along in this fashion, something has to happen. It’s that simple.
Ference, for one, clearly believes the onus for failure falls squarely on the players, not the coaches.
added 9:10am, Watch Ference's post-game remarks below...
Edmonton has been a bad team for a long time, and has turned to youth to solve their problems. It’s not a healthy dynamic, rather, it’s a nasty, self-defeating cycle. One the Oilers can’t seem to break, as the decision top pencil Leon Draisaitl in as second-line centre even before training camp this season demonstrates beautifully.
The Oilers are using the NHL as a development league. That’s bad. If it is to be used as a development league, it’s important that players are handled carefully and consistently; instead Edmonton have tossed them in the deep end and for good measure shuffled coaches on a semi-annual basis. Watching the team operate is a master class in how a losing environment can be perpetuated.
-Jonathan Willis of Sportnet where you can read more on the Oilers.
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