Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: dallas eakins
This is a superb, superb answer to an "advanced stats" question from ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider entry/mailbag feature:
As I try to be more of an advanced stats believer, I find myself with more questions than answers. First, how does a team get better at advanced stats? Is it putting more pucks on net? I'm pretty sure every hockey player ever has given that as an answer. But seriously, what would fix your team’s problem? Is it a certain style of play? If it is, then one could argue that once a team wins the Stanley Cup with a different style, we’d see that be the new "in" thing.
Good to hear from you, my friend. There’s a lot to tackle in this question. First, there are definitely things coaches can do to improve their team’s possession analytics, but whether or not it leads to wins is up for debate.
For instance, I remember talking to Dallas Eakins last year after he was fired from Edmonton and they made systematic changes that resulted in improved analytics.
“Very, very subtle changes,” he said at the time. “But they were paying off.”
And the numbers suggest that zone entries impact the possession numbers, so if teams make a concerted effort to carry the puck in rather than dump it in, that would theoretically improve the analytics.
To me, the analytics we see are more useful for roster construction. If I’m trying to improve the possession numbers, I’m doing it through roster improvements. I’m focusing on defensemen who can quickly close the gap on players in the neutral zone to force a dump in. I’m focusing on defensemen who are also great skaters who can quickly get the puck and get it out of the zone to start the rush the other way. All things being equal, I’d like a goalie who can play the puck to help those defensemen.
But to your last point, there is more than one way to win in the NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning play a different brand of hockey and are built differently than, say, the Los Angeles Kings when they were at the top of their game. Possession numbers aren’t the end-all, be-all, they’re just part of the equation.
This Saturday, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman got six minutes' worth of time to discuss hockey headlines, and they stated that:
- Boston University forward and top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel may or may not bolt from NCAA hockey to join a Canadian Hockey League team, with the Saint John Sea Dogs owning his rights. Cox points out that Charlie Coyle, Adam Tambellini and Sonny Milano have all committed to NCAA teams and then joined CHL teams instead, so it is possible that Eichel may be on the move after he plays for Team USA at the World Junior Championships--and BC goalie Thatcher Demko might also exit stage CHL;
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Tags: boston+bruins, dallas+eakins, doug+armstrong, edmonton+oilers, jack+eichel, james+neal, mike+fisher, nashville+predators, reilly+smith, st.+louis+blues, tj+oshie, torey+krug, toronto+maple+leafs
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:
- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.
- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?
- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.
This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:
-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.
Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:
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Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko
Dallas Eakins will be meeting with the media today at 12:00pm ET.
You can watch it below...
added 11:56am, The conference will also be on NHL Network US.
added 12:28pm, press conference is over.
The Edmonton press has always impressed me because it so exhaustively analyzes its team's performance (as you probably know, they were figuring out "fancy stats" a decade ago), and their passion seems to reflect the passion of the team's fan base. It's hard to watch the Oilers go through such an incredibly difficult period of time because you know that the bad times are going to be exhaustively analyzed...
And while writing all but a novel about the Oilers' firing of coach Dallas Eakins' this evening, the Edmonton Journal's Terry Jones simply could not afford to not "go there" and wonder whether the installation of GM Craig MacTavish as coach while Oklahoma City Barons coach Todd Nelson slowly but surely takes over = no "Failing For McDavid"--which, sadly enough, might have been the best thing for the Oilers to do:
The trouble with the move is that the “new coach spikes” could effectively result in the Oilers not finishing 30th overall and take themselves out of the Connor McDavid Sweepstakes with Jack Eichel as a consolation prize if somebody else won the draft lottery.
With a generational player (or two) out there, this is not a year to finish 26th instead of 30th. The Oilers already ended up with Sam Gagner instead of Patrick Kane because they went and won the last game of a regular season.
“It’s not in anybody’s DNA in professional sports to talk about that or to try and do that,” said MacTavish. We’re very much trying to turn the performance level of the hockey club around. Certainly our draft status had no bearing on this.”
added 12:03pm, Dreger tweet,
Confirming MacTavish returns to bench on interim basis. Replacing Eakins who was fired this morning.
note 12:12pm, removed the word Report from the headline.
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons discusses the fates of Eric Staal and Tyler Myers in his weekly notebook, but he also makes a point regarding the Slava Voynov case that...Let's say the New York Post's Larry Brooks examines in greater detail...
Will be an interesting conversation around Lou Marsh time ... If Slava Voynov remains suspended until his Dec. 1 court date, he will have sat out 18 games, making his one of the longest suspensions in NHL history. What makes this so complicated is that he has yet to be formally charged with anything, his salary is counting against the Los Angeles salary cap and in the backdrop of the Ray Rice situation, the NHL is caught in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t circumstance.
Amongst Simmons' notes:
Now that they’ve won three home games in a row, the heat is off Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins. For now. But had the wins not come in the homestand, the Oilers were preparing to make a coaching change. The man they were already sniffing around: Mark Messier
(have we ever heard that rumor before? Naaaaaaah)
This is why I remain skeptical of the Maple Leafs' ability to work as a functional sports team...
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Tags: brendan+shanahan, dallas+eakins, dave+nonis, edmonton+oilers, kyle+dubas, leon+draisaitl, los+angeles+kings, mark+hunter, mark+messier, slava+voynov, toronto+maple+leafs
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Eakins’ failure to instill a defensive posture into this roster may be his undoing. Yes, the goaltending undermines everything. But this team is incapable of pulling its horns in on a night when two-thirds of its top line is out of the lineup due to injury, and trying for the 2-1 win. Edmonton simply bleeds point blank chances on a nightly basis, and considering that the GM added four veteran players over the summer — two on defence — you might look to the coach to install a system that limits the chances.
Vancouver is in town Friday night, as Edmonton opens up a seven-game home stand that Eakins’ job and the Oilers season hinges on. Rexall Place will be tense and angry if pucks start piling up behind Scrivens once again.
The term “goalie graveyard” is now being applied to Edmonton, and that is entirely fair. It’s been a coaching graveyard for some time now.
We wonder: if Dan Bylsma’s phone rang today and he saw the 780 area code, would he even pick up?
The Calgary Flames' 8-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers had a beautiful moment, and it had a couple of ugly ones, too. As Pro Hockey Talk's Cam Tucker noted, another Oilers fan threw a jersey on the ice (again), but MyRegularFace on Twitter captured Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens tossing it back into the crowd...
And Scrivens was having none of it after the game, either, as Sportnset noted:
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
Coaching continuity has been in short supply in Edmonton but the newest recruit knows that even his days could be numbered if the team doesn’t turn the corner.
“There’s been change year after year after year in my position and I think that gets players spinning. It’s not good for the development of the organization (but) that could change again,” Oilers head man Dallas Eakins said on Wednesday.
“I firmly know that if I can’t get this group going very soon, that it could be me ... I’m fine with that but I do think it’s extremely important that we stay the course here system-wise.”
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The jersey lay there on the ice, crumpled in an unceremonious heap. It had been thrown from the stands and landed at the top of the circle after a 6-0 Edmonton Oilers loss, discarded and left for the rink attendant to toss away.
It was a home blue Oilers jersey. Ales Hemsky’s No. 83, with an alternate captain’s ‘A.’ Likely $250 worth of jersey, abandoned like any hopes for the 2013-14 season, a parting shot from a Rexall Place fan base that can’t stand the losing anymore.
This franchise has given its fans one playoff berth in the past 10 seasons, inheriting the Toronto Maple Leafs record of futility with the longest playoff drought (this will be nine years) in the NHL. There has not been a .500 team here since 2008-09, and this club — in year four of what was supposed to be a rebuild — is the worst edition ever, currently playing .328 hockey. No Oilers team in the 34-year history of the franchise has been this futile.
The Edmonton Oilers — groan — are in 29th place again. The season was over before it started. New coach, new GM, same old laughing stock.
Mark Spector with a few tweets today after the Oilers' morning skate...
Eakins on fan: “That’s about as bad as it gets for me. It’s bull crap.” “Whoever threw that jersey, they’re out of the fight."
“This city, the people who work in the oil patch, they’re not quitters. I do not ever, ever, want our players to quit.” - Eakins
“For some fan to show us all that he quit, he’s done, he threw in the towel. I think it says volumes about the individual.” — Eakins
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal answers a few questions from readers...
Q: I don’t know how much longer Oilers GM Craig MacTavish can wait before he has to fire coach Dallas Eakins and clean up the mess himself à la Lou Lamoriello. What a freaking disaster.
A: Eakins is going nowhere. Hey, it’s 19 games into a four-year contract. I’d say he deserves a whole lot more time than that. This is hardly the NHL coming-out party Dallas Eakins wanted, though. With every Oilers’ loss, he meets the media and tries to put some positive spin on things unless it’s obvious there is no compete there. You are correct that New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has stepped in as an interim guy a couple of times, when coaches Larry Robinson and Claude Julien were fired, but MacTavish believed in Eakins this spring when he hired him, and unless I’m reading the wrong tea leaves, this is his guy. It is very disturbing, however, how incredibly bad the Oilers have been defensively. That falls on the head coach. After 19 games last year, when Ralph Krueger was at the helm, they’d given up 54 goals. They’ve given up 75 this season.
a few more Edmonton related questions...
Sportsnet's HockeyCentral at Noon discussed the post-game comments Dallas Eakins made last night.
The panel wasn't very kind to Eakins...
Montreal Canadiens winger Lars Eller suggested that the Edmonton Oilers were "like a junior team" prior to Tuesday night's game between Montreal and Edmonton, and it backfired in a big way, with the Oilers taking the bulletin board material and running with it en route to a 4-3 win over the Canadiens.
The Globe and Mail's Sean Gordon took note of the trash-talking and its result...
"It can be anything, you know? They play a little bit like a junior team, I think, sometimes. They take a lot of risks, a lot of chances, they’re a little all over the place. There’s not a lot of structure, always, in their game,” quoth Eller.
After the Oilers beat the Habs a few hours later, Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said of Eller: “he might as well have sent me a fruit basket and a bottle of wine.”
“We thank Lars Eller for his comments before the game. Awesome,” Eakins said.
Montreal counterpart Michel Therrien gravely intoned that Eller’s remarks were “unacceptable” and that “he’s a young player, he’ll learn from this.”
But Gordon suggests that the Oilers were lucky to win, and that the Habs were unlucky losers...
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons always offers up a juicy Sunday notebook, but sometimes the best parts are one-liners. The thrusts of today's column involve the tiff between Jake Gardner and Randy Carlyle, Steve Yzerman's take on fighting and the Toronto Raptors' wooing of the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, but these quips piqued my interest:
Welcome to the Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Eakins. That 4-2 lead ended up as a 5-4 defeat on opening night. Old Oilers habits don’t die easily ... There is a tension around the Philadelphia Flyers that belies the early schedule. When they lost their home opener to the Leafs in a game they had no business losing, there was a sense around their dressing room and management staff that there is already deep concern about this group.
The $10 million Phil Kessel will be paid next season is the highest single-season salary in Leafs history. The previous high: Mats Sundin at $9 million. Kessel’s salary-cap hit comes in at $8 million beginning next season ... For those who keep track of such important matters, Kessel will be paid $40,650 per period next season. If he plays all 82 games, that is ... The day after the frightening George Parros incident in Montreal, the NHL sent out a memo to teams asking them to de-emphasize fighting on their arena scoreboards. The tone of the memo: Let’s try and tone things down, people
Gene Principe of Sportsnet and Dallas Eakins hit the streets of Edmonton on bikes to talk hockey and the Hockey Central panel discusses the 213-14 Edmonton Oilers.
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons offers a scattershot slate of mostly Maple Leafs-related observations this morning, and the train of thought in this particular paragraph struck me as most intriguing:
Would love to know why Sergei Makarov, who was a top-10 player in the world from 1979-1989 is still not in the Hockey Hall of Fame....
Ran into Paul Coffey, Darryl Sittler, Marcel Dionne and a few more all-time greats at the Road Hockey To Conquer Cancer event at Ontario Place. If there’s a better charity event than this one, I haven’t seen it ...
Maybe it’s personal, but it makes me just a little uncomfortable to see Sheldon Keefe honoured this coming week for his time coaching in Pembroke. Maybe I’m too old to forget and or maybe I just know too much...
The best supporting actors in [Paul] Ranger’s return to the NHL: David Branch and Dallas Eakins...
If I was Dale Tallon, I would have given Tim Thomas the $3.75 million the Florida Panthers gave him but if I was paying him that much, I wouldn’t have given him a no-trade contract.
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
The rookie head coach said on Saturday he’s sent out a letter to all the players outlining his expectations, not the least of which will be a need to compete. He’s also determined to erase “young team” from the vocabulary.
“That’s the first thing I asked when I came in: do not refer to this as a young team anymore. We’re not a young team. We’re a team and our team is made up of some inexperience, some middle experience, and some very experienced players. When you call a team a young team you immediate alienate a bunch of guys and you make it about certain people and we’re not going to do that here,” said Eakins, who did not want to take away from the work the previous coaching staff had done.
What he did say was that the team would be very aggressive in the defensive zone and dogged on the puck.
“And as I said that first day,” he continued, “you will either compete hard or you will not play. I do not care how old you are, how much money you make, how much term you have left on your contract. You will compete, or, your minutes will be cut until you buy in. That’s the way it’s going to go.”
from Ryan Dittrick of EdmontonOilers.com,
In order to win and become a perennial Stanley Cup contender, it takes a total team effort to succeed.
On the development side, Dallas Eakins says, it's up to the coach and 23 individuals to maximize their potential for the greater good.
"I don't coach a team, I coach individuals. It's important to remember that," Eakins said after he was named the 12th head coach in Oilers history Monday afternoon. "I like to treat all my players the same when it comes to work ethic and discipline, but they're all wired differently.
"You've got to get to know them, inside and out. I need to learn out what triggers them, what motivates them and look under every stone to see what makes them tick. There's a lot of motivation for players in this game. Some want to carry the load for their team and others want to make their parents proud.
"I've got 23 new players that I've got to get to know and find all that out."
via a release by the Edmonton Oilers...
General Manager Craig MacTavish announced today the Edmonton Oilers have appointed Dallas Eakins as the clubs' new Head Coach. Eakins becomes the 12th Head Coach in Oilers franchise history.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The battle between Don Cherry and the Maple Leafs organization escalated Wednesday.
Marlies coach Dallas Eakins — whom Cherry chided for calling out Nazem Kadri’s eating habits — fired back at the host of CBC Coach’s Corner, first by saying he’s a big fan of Cherry.
But Eakins added he’d never seen Cherry at a Marlies game or practice. Then he took a shot at Cherry’s Twitter account, from which Cherry had lambasted the Leafs on their handling of Kadri.
“He’s a strong-willed guy; I’m sure he believes in everything that he had somebody type for him,” Eakins told TSN Radio at Marlies training camp.
“I invite Don to come on down, You’re more than welcome at any time. You’ve got a lot of fans here. We’d be honoured to have him,” Cherry “I’ve never ever seen him at one of our games and I’ve never ever seen him at a practice and he’s never come in and knocked on my door.”