The Airing of Grievances

Lowetide
December 22 2010 09:29PM

Frank Costanza: "And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!" On Festivus eve, I thought it might be an idea to get a head start. 
 

Here are my issues with the Edmonton Oilers hockey club:

  1. Why don't you address the penality kill? It's really horrible. Call up Reddox, make a trade or sign one of the many free agents still out there. But do something. I don't expect this team to make the playoffs (making me more realistic than the coach) but lordy it would be nice for the kids to see how a penalty kill works.
  2. Faceoffs. Win them! I was listening to a Logan Couture interview the other day and he says the Sharks pride themselves on winning faceoffs. It's a real focus for the entire team, from the coaching staff all the way down to the wingers who don't take too many draws. They're all pulling together. What are they doing that the Oilers aren't doing? Couture is over 50%. Why is that? Maybe someone should look into it since it's been an issue since 2006 spring.
  3. I don't like the implied threats about the arena. I trust the Oilers know exactly what they're doing in terms of public relations, the way an adult female knows exactly what is and isn't covered with every outfit she owns. There's an undeniable message being sent when "leaks" about "relocating to Quebec City" are allowed to float out into the ether for a few hours before the "we have no plans to move the Oilers at this time" presser reaches the bloodstream. I hope the Katz group remembers there is an enormous amount of resentment over the way Peter Pocklington went Harold Hill on this city and its residents. Let the giant sleep. If it wakes, you won't like it.
  4. Be nicer to Northlands. You're going to be hiring their employees soon. We're seeing the last few months of Northlands. It's like one of those nature shows where the cheetah takes a snake bite and dies over 8 hours. Painful. The Katz plan (as I understand it) will render Northlands obsolete, but the employees represent Marian the librarian and could be very important to the finale. Anyway, I hope it works out but we're miles from 'Til There Was You.

That's about it. Happy Festivus, everyone! And best of the holidays to you!

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Chaz
December 23 2010, 10:34AM
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My grievance of the year is for those twits in the Spiderman outfits next to the penalty box in Vancouver. I see this week that there is now one in Toronto too.

Please Edmonton; do not allow this to happen here. If someone comes dressed like this to a game at Rexall we must pledge to collectively ridicule and berate them to a point that they will never want to show up in the outfit again. As an Oiler fan I never want to have to see this in our town.

And for the tools in Vancouver, just once I'd like the plexi-glass to magically disappear so the player in the box could get at you two. We'll see how tough you are then....losers.

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#52 TigerUnderGlass
December 23 2010, 10:45AM
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Is it just me or is Dennis' comment getting blown a wee bit out of proportion?

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#53 BarryS
December 23 2010, 10:52AM
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@Dennis

Improve the powerplay/faceoffs by about half, stop taking lazy penalties and making lazy plays like offsides and cheap icings. If I see another lazy holding play I may scream. If you're tired get off the ice.

In any event, at this time worring about faceoffs and pk is like worring about the lipstick coming off the pigs. It is but new stock at reasonable prices are not available till spring and summer.

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#54 Tyler
December 23 2010, 10:54AM
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By the way, Brownlee said "taking digs at the writers here." Don't get ahead of yourself, hombre.

Do you think it's at all possible that I wasn't suggesting that Tencer writes here but, rather, that it's exceedingly thin skinned to complain about people jabbing you for reporting related matters while you yourself delight in kicking the hell out of some schlub based on how he looks?

Whether Tencer writes here or not wasn't my point. Say what you will about Dennis but I don't recall much in the way of comment about the appearance of people here.

1) Many fans taking the easy way out and blaming Tambellini instead of the players and/or coaches. He's the favorite whipping boy of the "Oilogosphere," and it's not fully deserved. He isn't perfect, but he's not entirely to blame for this debacle.

I will agree that Tambo isn't entirely to blame. These "players" and "coaches" you mention though...how did they come to be here? Did Jason Strudwick band together with JF Jacques, Zack Stortini, Nik Khabibulin and the rest and decide to establish a hockey team in Edmonton under the direction of Pat Quinn (I haven't seen too much heat directed Renney's way, other than with the PK) and install Tambo as a figurehead, like the Queen? My recollection is somewhat different.

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#55 BarryS
December 23 2010, 10:55AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Is it just me or is Dennis' comment getting blown a wee bit out of proportion?

It is but nothing else much happening. Rosters are frozen, but I guess it doesn't apply to coaches. Must be nice to be a boss who royally screws things up and can then fires the foreman because of it.

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#56 Pajamah
December 23 2010, 10:59AM
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I find it funny that Tyler and Dennis come here to beak at Robin and JG, because no one would read it if they made the same comments on their own blogs

Keep wallowing in your own mediocrity gentlemen.

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#57 BarryS
December 23 2010, 11:03AM
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@Tyler

One thing I've noticed of late. Edmonton is clearly a left wing union town, the problems are always because of the owners/management and never because of the workers/players.

Some guy gets let go or signs somewhere else and everybody is clammering to get him hired back.

Rule one, don't like the working conditions quit.

Rule two. don't like the product, don't buy it.

That's why we're a free country, we can freely exercise both options.

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#58 Tyler
December 23 2010, 11:10AM
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BarryS -

I don't think Edmonton's a "Blame management" city at all. The media know who is likely to be here in three years and it's not the players. The media, IMO, set the tone for the fans. If the screw has turned at all lately, it's only been in the past year or so, when they've really bottomed out. In any event, blaming JF Jacques for not being a first line forward is, IMO, silly. Blame the guys who thought he was one, were proven wrong and brought him back anyway.

Pajamah -

For a blog that nobody reads, it was sure mentioned a lot on TSN, CBC, Yahoo! and most major national newspapers in the past two months.

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#59 Wanye
December 23 2010, 11:12AM
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Grievances:

1)The Mighty Oil are too good to be a lottery team, yet not ready to make the playoffs. Either make it or tank if you please.

2)Stupid Logan Couture and his 18 goals are putting Eberle's Calder win in mild jeopardy.

3)The Arena debate. Kindly enslave us to higher taxes for a generation with a $300 million dollar taxpayer funded arena and get on with the show.

4)Brule. Pick it up Cuz. Everyone is cheering for you.

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#60 freeze
December 23 2010, 11:13AM
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@Chaz

Already happened, unfortunately. I was at a game earlier this year and two gents were in the blue 'outfits'. I have a pic somewhere at home...

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#61 BarryS
December 23 2010, 11:23AM
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@Tyler

In my experience, since year one Alberta Oilers, the fans set the tone for the media. When the fans are upset the media gets upset, when the fans realize they risk loosing the team, and begins following it again, for example, the media suddenly becomes all positive.

As for JFJ, don't blame him for not bring first line, do wonder about his committment when he doesn't seem to want to change his game to stay in the league. For all his lack of success, at the moment, at least, Gogs, for example, seems to be trying to make a place for himself.

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#62 GSC
December 23 2010, 11:25AM
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@Tyler

I will agree that Tambo isn't entirely to blame. These "players" and "coaches" you mention though...how did they come to be here? Did Jason Strudwick band together with JF Jacques, Zack Stortini, Nik Khabibulin and the rest and decide to establish a hockey team in Edmonton under the direction of Pat Quinn (I haven't seen too much heat directed Renney's way, other than with the PK) and install Tambo as a figurehead, like the Queen? My recollection is somewhat different.

Yes, he is to blame for those players...although I see why Struds was re-signed (can't be as available and as close to his current teammates as a coach). Other than that, no argument here.

My beef with the ragging on Tambi is that the good things he has done (revamping the farm club, allowing the scouts to do the drafting work, getting something for Staios and O'Sullivan) have largely gone unnoticed, or have been written off as "easy."

I think that the guy deserves a chance to clean up Lowe's mess, and IMO the damage done by the former GM requires several years of janitorial services.

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#63 Chaz
December 23 2010, 11:46AM
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@freeze

Really? Ouch. Too bad. I should have known there were idiots here too. Hope they at least got spit on or something. Haha.

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#64 Chris.
December 23 2010, 12:04PM
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I think Tyler, Dennis, Gregor, and Brownlee should get together for the Feats-Of-Strenght portion of Festivus. I think Wayne should stream the encounter live on this site... AND I think Archeologuy should be commissioned to design a video game that commemorates the event.

That is all.

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#65 Horcsky
December 23 2010, 12:06PM
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Grievances:

1) When you dump the puck in and every player on the ice goes for a change, it is a turnover. Make smarter dump-ins.

2) Make smarter changes. There are usually a handful of odd-man rushes that come after a slow change and turnover that fans can see coming every game.

3) Half of the shots in the Sharks game were us just sliding the puck along the ice to the goalie. Shoot with purpose.

That is all, everyone else already covered my other grievances. Merry Xmas!

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#66 David S
December 23 2010, 12:11PM
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GSC wrote:

I will agree that Tambo isn't entirely to blame. These "players" and "coaches" you mention though...how did they come to be here? Did Jason Strudwick band together with JF Jacques, Zack Stortini, Nik Khabibulin and the rest and decide to establish a hockey team in Edmonton under the direction of Pat Quinn (I haven't seen too much heat directed Renney's way, other than with the PK) and install Tambo as a figurehead, like the Queen? My recollection is somewhat different.

Yes, he is to blame for those players...although I see why Struds was re-signed (can't be as available and as close to his current teammates as a coach). Other than that, no argument here.

My beef with the ragging on Tambi is that the good things he has done (revamping the farm club, allowing the scouts to do the drafting work, getting something for Staios and O'Sullivan) have largely gone unnoticed, or have been written off as "easy."

I think that the guy deserves a chance to clean up Lowe's mess, and IMO the damage done by the former GM requires several years of janitorial services.

I think what most people fail to consider is that Tambellini IS cleaning up Lowe's mess. The fact that the team has done nothing to correct obvious deficiencies (PP, PK) is proof. We're starting to see a growing positive trend in offense, that "just happens" to be balanced off by pathetic PP and PK performance.

The result? ELPH.

IMO, the team has a very clear plan. That plan is based on losing our way to a bunch of key assets through high drafting. Just the fact that we haven't called up any D (Belle) or placed either of Horcoff or Hemsky on LTIR is further proof.

Personally, this plan makes me sick to my stomach to even think about. But it is what it is. I have little doubt both Katz and Lowe are fully on board, and it wouldn't even surprise me if it was their idea in the first place.

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#67 risto
December 23 2010, 12:22PM
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The Music at Rexall. Horrible

Vancouver fans chanting Lou. In my world, being a loo=loser. Any wonder they have had a decent club for about 8 years, and no SCFinals to show for it? All of them, loos.

That being said, the music in Vancouver's arena 10x better than ours.

And I generally agree with Lowetide's grievances, and forgive him for all things Pouliot.

It would please me to see Doobs play more in 2011. I sense Toonces evaluating again........

Merry Merry to the baby Oil, the Oilers Nation and YOU!

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#68 JB
December 23 2010, 12:26PM
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@David S

Not that I disagree with you, but is planning to fail really a plan? The Oilers could theoretically not have a GM and have the same results. I think I'm just going to back to drinking.

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#69 Chris.
December 23 2010, 12:34PM
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JB wrote:

Not that I disagree with you, but is planning to fail really a plan? The Oilers could theoretically not have a GM and have the same results. I think I'm just going to back to drinking.

No they need somebody to throw a wrench into things once and a while (you know if the team starts heating up too much)... For example: why not have the coach tell the media he expects these young guys to make the playoffs a couple of days before the team embarks on a very difficult road trip? Increased pressure always leads to increased performance levels right?

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#70 Robin Brownlee
December 23 2010, 12:35PM
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That within 72 hours of Christmas, an item that should provide a lighthearted distraction is turned into yet another sneering, axe-to-grind waste of time.

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#71 David S
December 23 2010, 12:37PM
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JB wrote:

Not that I disagree with you, but is planning to fail really a plan? The Oilers could theoretically not have a GM and have the same results. I think I'm just going to back to drinking.

It can be. Think about it. What does Renney say? "Sometimes you have to give the puck up to get it back". I'd bet some serious cash that a bunch of key moves we've all been hoping for will be made this summer. You might even see some hint of this master plan leading up to the trade deadline this season.

The failing is the easy part. Anticipating the right time to turn the power back on takes some skill. Personally, after the emergence of our rookies (which as a group must be exceeding expectations), I really thought the plan would be accelerated and we might see some moves to give the team a chance to make the playoffs (a pretty decent carrot, and a damn good learning experience). But so far a big NOPE to that idea.

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#72 Darren
December 23 2010, 12:40PM
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@BarryS

How do the fans start to realize they are at risk to lose the team? Who tells the fan this?

The media.

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#73 TigerUnderGlass
December 23 2010, 12:50PM
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@GSC

...allowing the scouts to do the drafting work...

Are you suggesting that Tanmbellini be given credit for allowing his staff to do their jobs? Or that this was somehow difficult? Why do I feel a need to quote Chris Rock?

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#74 Chris.
December 23 2010, 01:22PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
...allowing the scouts to do the drafting work...

Are you suggesting that Tanmbellini be given credit for allowing his staff to do their jobs? Or that this was somehow difficult? Why do I feel a need to quote Chris Rock?

The bar has been set so low for so long...

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#75 madjam
December 23 2010, 01:46PM
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Oiler lineup now playing above expectations over last 20 games with a large part of that group playing as well as can be expected of late . Still 15th spot . but when you consider Hemsky , Horcoff injured long term , and Souray shipped to Neverland , they still look like a very competitive team getting better rapidly as season progresses . My only beef is upper management innate ability not to address long standing upgrades and voids to help our club more .

Keep your eyes on David Musil for Czechs in junior tourney - have a feeling he could be on Oilers radar and within where we might finish this season .

Tambellini a good delegator as most GM's ?

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#76 VK63
December 23 2010, 01:51PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Agreed! It's like redundancy has some magical power of persuasion that evades those who may consider themselves sane. But I digress.

In honor of our dear friend LT I crack open a festive treat.. Glenlivet French Oak reserve. Salud!

Festivus bitches I have Tencer and Loubardious. .........Auditory trauma. I'm good thanks.

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#77 Dennis
December 23 2010, 02:05PM
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speeds wrote:

I'm certainly not saying this issue has never been talked up, but I don't know that I've heard anyone ask Tambellini something like:

This summer, many fans/people thought the PK needed to be addressed as it was radically undermanned in terms of established PK personnel. Currently, the PK unit is beyond mediocre. Would you say that it's accurate to state that some fans able to see this deficiency while you did not? Or, did you accurately see and assess the current personnel, and just decide to see what they can do on the PK given the opportunity? Reasoning that if they stink (as you probably expected), it helps the draft pick and gives some players a chance to PK at the NHL level? And if they surprised you and performed well, or grow into performing well, it would help you long term?"

I think Mike pretty much nails it here.

My overall point is the PK's been terrible for awhile now and it's not like one chance and it's in the net and it's bad luck: the units give up a lot of chances and the results are bought and paid for.

Renney had some good PK results with the Rags but not too long enough he gave a lot of that credit to his old assistant Perry Pearn so maybe that's a bit part of the story too. What I've seen is too many lost faceoffs, poor planning and perhaps and most likely not enough PK-able guys on the roster.

One of those is on the coaching staff and the other two are on Lowe and Co.

Nothing personal from me; it just seems odd to me that more people don't think it's a bigger deal and especially considering some of the underlying issues have been issues for years.

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#78 JB
December 23 2010, 02:31PM
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@David S

Failing is easy to be sure, and in some contexts much more fun. That said, I agree that the next offseason will be revealing in regards to the larger "plan." I suspect some minor pieces (Vandermeer, Cogs, Brule, Foster) might be in play but the big decisions (Hemsky/Penner) will be made when Tambo has more spare time for assessment. If the glaring holes that every single MSM pundit, blogger and casual fan aren't addressed in a significant fashion then all Tambo doubters (of which I'd include myself) will become unbearably obnoxious.

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#79 Dan the Man
December 23 2010, 02:36PM
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I'd be curious to see how much effort teams like Chicago and Pittsburg put into addressing weaknesses in their rosters while they were in the middle of rebuilds.

I'm feeling way too lazy to analyze their rosters during thoses times so I'm just going to assume that because both teams were so bad for so many years that they probably didn't do much either.

Does that make it OK for the Oilers to not address things like the PK and faceoffs?

I guess it depends whether you want a top 5 draft pick or an opportunity to squeak in to the playoffs.

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#80 Jason Gregor
December 23 2010, 03:27PM
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Dennis wrote:

This is an interesting reply because while I think this guy or gal is way off the mark when he says I'm misinformed - they don't say of what or qualify how - I do agree with him when he says there has to be give-and-take.

The other day Gregor took a dig at me about the PK and told me I clearly wasn't watching all that clearly what was going on. OK, maybe he's right on that. But I could also say the same about his opinion that 67 should get a shot at pivot given that Brule's got a ten-cent head when it comes to looking after his own end.

I think it all should be fine unless it's personal.

So, in closing, I apologize to Gregor if he thinks it's personal because it's not.

Worrying about how Brule is in his own zone while on the PP, is a tad shortsighted. If the PP is good they won't be in their zone very often. You'd be more worried how he is skating backwards with a guy trying to beat him on the rush.

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#81 Dennis
December 23 2010, 08:11PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Worrying about how Brule is in his own zone while on the PP, is a tad shortsighted. If the PP is good they won't be in their zone very often. You'd be more worried how he is skating backwards with a guy trying to beat him on the rush.

I was pretty sure you said 67 should be given a shot at pivot at EV; if I'm mistaken then I apologize.

but if I wasn't then I'd say a guy who can't even clear the zone on the wing should never be allowed to play centre.

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