GDB 14.0 EXPECTATIONS

Wanye
February 16 2013 12:25PM

 

As promised the 2012 Lockout has condensed the 2013 season and put 'er on FF. Normally as Oilers fans we are entitled to at least several weeks of unreasonable optimism, followed by about a month or so where we are confused and perplexed about the team. Are they underachieving? Is the performance we are seeing legitimate given the talent the team has? Then we turn on each other for a month or two and then finally invent snazzy acronyms for being in last place.

But with the lockout shortened season this annual dance has been compressed and months have become weeks. Weeks have turned into days. Days become seconds. It's all happening so fast.

THE POWER OF EXPECTATION

We all have one buddy who is the eternal optimist. No matter how bad things may get the guy just has that rosy expectation that things are going to turn out ok. And often as not that is exactly what happens. We have a buddy who is like this particularly when it comes to gambling.

He will walk into a casino and expect to leave up on the night. It's just in his DNA that on the odd night when his old lady lets him go out sans leash he is going to walk away up a fat stack and then will spend the next few weeks telling us how he has spent the money secretly without the Missus finding out.

Others may sit at the blackjack table with him getting bad hands. "I never win" they will mutter under their breath. "This dealer is crooked. I can't believe casinos are legal." As the night goes on they will come up with a million different reasons for why it is impossible to win at the tables.

And all the while our buddy will keep his mouth shut, brimming with secret positivity. If he loses a few hands - fine. If the dealer makes 21 off of a 6 and screws the entire table that's ok too. Even if he has to make a few trips to the ATM in the process he is still completely confident he is walking away at some point up on the night.

And he always does.

EXPECT TO WIN

As it goes with a guy who can't help but make a few hundy at the casino so goes it with professional athletes. Confidence is a big part of the game and an overriding belief that you are going to win goes a long way to being a winning team.

A team that is now this stocked with talented Super Kids has a major dose of individual confidence. Guys like Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn't dominate through minor and junior hockey ranks by being fatalists. They operate on the base assumption that they are going to win - just like our buddy at the casino.

Organizationally the Oilers have about as much confidence as Lindsay Lohan on Oscar nominations day* We can't imagine what thoughts rattle around in Steve Tambellini's head while he assesses the situation for the 6907th game in a row but we can't think its "now with a couple more pieces added to the puzzle it's playoff time for Steve!"

Hardly. He has shown us beyond a shadow of a doubt that he lacks the confidence to make any major moves and put himself at the risk of being crucified by fans and media alike for doing the wrong thing. He continues to sit and be fit.

THE TRANSITION TO WINNING

 

Part of the transition of this club away from the Shitanusly Bad Hockey Era (2007-2012) is removing all of the negative nancies in the room and moving towards the swagger that seeps from the pores of 4, 14, 19, 64 and 93. Think that the Nuge considers himself to be crappy now that he has been cold for a couple weeks? Please. Think King Jordan of Eberle lies awake at night surrounded by naked sleeping supermodels wondering if he will ever score again? As if.

This team is loaded to the rafters with world class talent. The pieces that need to be added - a couple role players here - a couple upgrades on the back end there - are waaaaaay easier to find than the Fab 5 that will be lacing them up for the Oil for the next 15 years.

Expectations cannot be lowered. Period.

Ask teams like Columbus and the Isles what happens when expectations are lowered and the belief in winning is snuffed out. You sit at the bottom of the league and never ever leave. Think Scott Howson came to work every day looking for ways to make big moves to get the team out of the basement? Nope.

Winners win. Losers lose. Excuses in the long run are just that. If you are paid by Kay-Z to play or work for this club and you  don't think you can make the playoffs with every fibre of your being you gotta go. Yesterday.

GAME DAY VS AVS

The Oilers (5-5-3) play the Colorado Avalanche (5-6-1) tonight. A team with high expectations for its season - say the lofty goal of being the 8th best team in the Western Conference - looks to a game like this with an opponent below them in the standings as a night to score some goals and walk away with a win. The Avs are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and there is nothing going on in Colorado that would suggest that the Mighty Oil can't break out against them tonight.

Dubnyk is starting in the next for the Oil and the lines are as follows courtesy of the Oilers twitter feed:

Hall-Nuge-Eberle

Hartikainen-Gagner-Hemsky

Smyth-Belanger-Yakupov

Eager-Vandevelde-Petrell

Whitney-Petry

Schultz-Schultz

Smid-Fistric

IN CLOSING

Leave your game day predictions in the comments below. We predict only one thing: the Oilers win. Seriously.

*ZING!

**ZING!

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#151 The Soup Fascist
February 17 2013, 10:17AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

can we have childish responses that target his arguments? asking for a friend.

That is Gold, Jerry. Pure Gold.

- Kenny Banya

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#152 SrCain
February 17 2013, 10:18AM
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Varlamov was the games first star. When was the last time a goalie let in 6 goals, lost the game yet was the first star lol.

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#153 pelhem grenville
February 17 2013, 10:30AM
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...soupy gingerale please

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#154 Oilcruzer
February 17 2013, 10:32AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

After 30, 30, and 29, it feels like we haven't been there before. And if we say little when we win, when do we get to say anything? Come on, Oilcruzer, a little slack.

Don't you find it lame when people talk trash when they win? How hard is that?

A real man shows up and admits when they are wrong... and we didn't see many show up before yesterday.

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#155 Butters
February 17 2013, 10:32AM
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Mixing scotch with soda? Good Grief

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#156 Smokey
February 17 2013, 10:33AM
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As much as it was a fun game to watch, Just don't consider it a classic. Colorado was missing their first line center and captain and best defensemen and had other injuries, Remove Nuge, Hall, Schultz, a few other bodies and it puts it in perspective.

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#157 DSF
February 17 2013, 10:36AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

C'mon DSF!

I had "the Colorado Avalanche are a minor league team and the Canucks would have beat them by 7 goals" in the pool.

Appreciate you showing up this a.m. but the acknowledgement that the Oil showed some push back was unexpected and frankly disturbing.

Well I hope at least you drink your single malt the civilized way - with lots of ice and diet coke.*

* If that doesn't set DSF off, nothing will.

Diet Coke?

You think I'm a heathen?

One ice cube.

While it may not have mattered last night you have to remember that Colorado was missing their 3 best players.

We'll see how many shots they can get against the Kings on Tuesday.

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#158 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 17 2013, 10:43AM
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Could be a huge boost of confidence for this team, if one can overlook the first 30 mins.

Things that stood out to me last evening were, Taylor Hall worked his way to playing like the first overall draft pick he was. Busted his hump, besting his effort of a hat trick a couple yrs ago against the Sens. Ben Eager had a very strong game as well i thought.

Dubey still looks a little tired. Ride Khabibulin for as long as possible, don't matter who's in goal, the W is the only thing that matters. Hopefully the Oilers can put together a strong next 15 games or so, land them squarely in the playoff picture again. 6-8th place in the west is within reasonable expectations based on their talent alone. 5 out of 6 possible remaining points from this homestand should put the Oilers where we hoped they'd be at the near halfway mark of the season. With the heart/leadership shown last night they'll be a stronger team in the second half.

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#159 DSF
February 17 2013, 10:47AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Could be a huge boost of confidence for this team, if one can overlook the first 30 mins.

Things that stood out to me last evening were, Taylor Hall worked his way to playing like the first overall draft pick he was. Busted his hump, besting his effort of a hat trick a couple yrs ago against the Sens. Ben Eager had a very strong game as well i thought.

Dubey still looks a little tired. Ride Khabibulin for as long as possible, don't matter who's in goal, the W is the only thing that matters. Hopefully the Oilers can put together a strong next 15 games or so, land them squarely in the playoff picture again. 6-8th place in the west is within reasonable expectations based on their talent alone. 5 out of 6 possible remaining points from this homestand should put the Oilers where we hoped they'd be at the near halfway mark of the season. With the heart/leadership shown last night they'll be a stronger team in the second half.

This could be a turning point in the team's history and could also signal the end of the rebuild IF Tambellini starts putting the complimentary pieces in place.

The Oilers have been fortunate this season in that they've had no serious injuries to key players like many other WC teams have.

If they occur, the Oilers don't have the depth to cope IMO.

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#160 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 17 2013, 11:04AM
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@DSF

Agreed, not many teams are managed with that in mind. Most are allowing themselves to be spent just fielding a competitive team. Like you've always mentioned DSF. It starts with decent management. Star players have to leave enough dough on the table for the supporting cast types.

I'm just hoping the Oilers can work towards fielding a stronger cast that resembles a decent top 11 on their club this season. A strong top 7 forwards, capable top 3 blueliners and a goaltender is a good start. Support and depth players are easier to aquire than it is putting together a group of the backbone/top 11 core players.

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#161 Sanaa Montana
February 17 2013, 11:14AM
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When and Where is the OilersNation Harlem Shake taking place?

I heard at the Pint on Whyte, during one of Gregor's shows.

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#162 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 17 2013, 11:18AM
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Might not be a popular move, but we all seen the effect of the quick footed Ben Eager last night. Offer JF Jacques and invitation to camp this fall. With a whole new group of players here since he left. maybe he meshes with the new group of kids. Another Ben Eager type at less than half the price of Ben Eager. These are the type of "finds" the Oilers will need to take advantage of. This was one of Glen Sathers strongest areas, Current management will need to bring in plyers who outperform the value of their contract as well.

JF's back is probably better, his footspeed and hands have never been a problem as well. He's worth another looksee in the fall, timing is everything.

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#163 DSF
February 17 2013, 11:26AM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Same Colorado team that beat the Minnesota Wild....in Minnesota....3 nights ago.....But I Take your point that you can't really get a true bearing on the Oils progress by comparing them to lesser teams like the Avalanche, the Wild and the Blue Jackets. It really isn't a sound marker for measuring their progress.

As you point out, there is ONE game next week we can use as a measuring stick.....LA on Tuesday.

The Kings, despite once again not being able to score much, are second in the league in SA/G, allowing only 23.9 despite missing both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene.

Why any lineup that features Kopitar, Brown, Richards, Carter, Gagne, Williams and Doughty can't score much is a complete mystery to me.

Hell, Doughty has zero goals and only 4 assists.

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#164 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 11:27AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Agreed, not many teams are managed with that in mind. Most are allowing themselves to be spent just fielding a competitive team. Like you've always mentioned DSF. It starts with decent management. Star players have to leave enough dough on the table for the supporting cast types.

I'm just hoping the Oilers can work towards fielding a stronger cast that resembles a decent top 11 on their club this season. A strong top 7 forwards, capable top 3 blueliners and a goaltender is a good start. Support and depth players are easier to aquire than it is putting together a group of the backbone/top 11 core players.

I'm not being sarcastic when I ask.....You say that "It starts with decent management"..."A strong top 7 forwards, capable top 3 blueliners and a goaltender is a start"....

Is that then saying that the Oilers have decent management and are on the right track?

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#165 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 11:42AM
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DSF wrote:

The Kings, despite once again not being able to score much, are second in the league in SA/G, allowing only 23.9 despite missing both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene.

Why any lineup that features Kopitar, Brown, Richards, Carter, Gagne, Williams and Doughty can't score much is a complete mystery to me.

Hell, Doughty has zero goals and only 4 assists.

Again...I'm not being sarcastic when I ask...

Quicksilver.....Do you think a team like the Kings with all that talent is lacking, Heart? are Gutless? etc.....(the question is in reference to previous comments that you made about the Oil lacking Heart, being gutless etc.) I really couldn't understand that statement at the time....

I too think they lack grit/size/edge/toughness and obviously experience....but I don't have a big issue with heart and leadership ( or at least leadership potential)....

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#166 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 17 2013, 11:51AM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

I'm not being sarcastic when I ask.....You say that "It starts with decent management"..."A strong top 7 forwards, capable top 3 blueliners and a goaltender is a start"....

Is that then saying that the Oilers have decent management and are on the right track?

If the fab 5 excell as a group, most or all meet the often unrealistic fan expectation, then yes. If they can make the players around them better, the last 6 yrs of suckage may have been worth it. Coaching and management are still measured by the success of the players jumping over the boards.

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#167 Rama Lama
February 17 2013, 11:54AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Might not be a popular move, but we all seen the effect of the quick footed Ben Eager last night. Offer JF Jacques and invitation to camp this fall. With a whole new group of players here since he left. maybe he meshes with the new group of kids. Another Ben Eager type at less than half the price of Ben Eager. These are the type of "finds" the Oilers will need to take advantage of. This was one of Glen Sathers strongest areas, Current management will need to bring in plyers who outperform the value of their contract as well.

JF's back is probably better, his footspeed and hands have never been a problem as well. He's worth another looksee in the fall, timing is everything.

JF Jaques was a very interesting player, played a solid in the AHL but his game could not translate to the NHL.

There have to be better options out there, and Ben Eager is one of them. He is the fastest 240 lb guy that I have seen in a very long time. Let's keep what we got with ( Eager) and develop him.

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#168 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 17 2013, 12:07PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Again...I'm not being sarcastic when I ask...

Quicksilver.....Do you think a team like the Kings with all that talent is lacking, Heart? are Gutless? etc.....(the question is in reference to previous comments that you made about the Oil lacking Heart, being gutless etc.) I really couldn't understand that statement at the time....

I too think they lack grit/size/edge/toughness and obviously experience....but I don't have a big issue with heart and leadership ( or at least leadership potential)....

First of all, i don't believe the NHL is what it use to be. It has become easier to win that marathon that is the Stanly Cup. The Kings weren't a great hockey team last regular season. They survived that two month marathon and were the better/healthier team of the two left. Can't even remember who they beat to be honest. Leaders did emerge when it matter most for LA Kings in june, but someone had to win the cup, it's mandatory that someone win it every year. The Hurricanes, the Lightning and the Kings......this has to be a difficult era for this league i'd have to think. Alot of one year wonders is carrying this league now. Watch our Oilers be in the final next season, the talent is spread so thin around the league, it's not that much of a stretch. Edmonton did came out of nowhere in 06.

You don't agree the Oilers were lacking leadership,heart and guts till it appeared with 25 minutes to go last night?

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#169 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 12:13PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Might not be a popular move, but we all seen the effect of the quick footed Ben Eager last night. Offer JF Jacques and invitation to camp this fall. With a whole new group of players here since he left. maybe he meshes with the new group of kids. Another Ben Eager type at less than half the price of Ben Eager. These are the type of "finds" the Oilers will need to take advantage of. This was one of Glen Sathers strongest areas, Current management will need to bring in plyers who outperform the value of their contract as well.

JF's back is probably better, his footspeed and hands have never been a problem as well. He's worth another looksee in the fall, timing is everything.

Eager looked good.....for the reasons you mentioned (6'2" 236lbs with footspeed)....

Would add to that:

1) He's young enough (29) to play a meaningful role for several more seasons. 2) His concussion issues (while on the one hand a bad thing) may force him to change the way he plays..playing a slightly more disciplined game, relying more on his size, speed and experience....with the possibility that he is just as effective/aggressive, with fewer penalties ( you can kind of see that in him already.) This kind of change in style might turn out to be more condusive to the way the game is played/officiated in todays NHL.

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#170 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 12:32PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

@ Yak be nimble

"You don't agree the Oilers were lacking leadership,heart and guts till it appeared with 25 minutes to go last night?"

Honestly, even prior to last night I felt/could see that the team had heart and was developing some leaders.....Of course you could always use more heart and more leadership....but I didn't see it as a core issue....in that they have it and just need to further develope it.

As for Guts....like you have pointed out...we have had too many guys lieing on the ice too many times...getting pushed around....not taking it to the net, not willing to play a physical cycle game in the corners etc....but again....even prior to last nights game....I thought that Gagner came in to the year at least a little more physical, Magnus is looking way stronger than he did a year ago, the Harti's and VandeVelde's of the world have stepped it up a notch....so I could see progression....but on Guts ...I would agree with you.....I saw it as a major defficiency..and last nights game helped a little to put my mind at rest that the defficiency (while it still exists) may not be quite as big as I thought it was.

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#171 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 12:44PM
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@ Yak be nimble

Thanks for bringing up J.F. Jacques. If Harti, and Magnus and VandeVelde can be affected in a positive way by time and chemistry then perhaps J.F. Jacques as well.....( and a ways down the road even a guy like Tyler Pitlick)

Point being that the whole idea makes me give a little more consideration to the prospects we have in the system and the power of time and chemistry.

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#172 Shane
February 17 2013, 12:46PM
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Wow, it's so damn positive in here today.. It's really nice!!

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#173 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 12:51PM
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Of course I still want the two or three big trades!!! And....this year please!

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#174 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 01:21PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Its been wrong thinking the Oil are competitive enough to win for the past 6 years, and I totally admit it. Being an Oiler fan(atic) is a burden I can't throw off - so it's just been pure suffering. So when they win in a fairly unique and dramatic way (a la OT against LA, or a record shots on goal, come from way behind like last night), I will use this rare opportunity to talk trash knowing full well that it might be the last time this season, and that a steady diet of force fed DSF flavored humble pie is in the offing. Its the lot of the Oiler Nation.

Doug........You've got to get ZEN like .....WINNING is a state of mind.....You're a die hard Oilers fan.....so by definition you're a WINNER!!! Now.... go change your login name....maybe small steps....DougtheSnail... (Zen doesn't happen over night)

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#175 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 02:25PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Suffering is my natural state of mind at this point.If winning started I would probably spontaneously combust. In fact, down 4-1, I was already calculating the odds on Seth Jones. The comeback has totally destabilized me.

lol ..... you see...it's working already....that response has ZEN like qualities.

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#176 Old Retired Guy
February 17 2013, 02:25PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Suffering is my natural state of mind at this point.If winning started I would probably spontaneously combust. In fact, down 4-1, I was already calculating the odds on Seth Jones. The comeback has totally destabilized me.

lol ..... you see...it's working already....that response has ZEN like qualities.

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