GDB 16.0: OIL CHANGE NEEDED

Jason Gregor
February 21 2013 01:20PM

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." For years many attributed this quote to Albert Einstein, however, there is no proof he actually uttered those words.

"Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results," first appeared in the basic text of Narcotics Anonymous which was copyrighted in 1982. Brownlee can attest this is very true, having tried to kick the habit for years, and I wonder if Ralph Krueger is starting to wonder the same thing about his hockey team.

Tonight the OIlers play their 16th game of the season, which is 1/3 of the abbreviated 2013 season, and they haven't been able to improve their five-on-five scoring.

In the first 7 games they scored 7 ES goals, and in the last 8 they also scored 7. Through 15 games they have shown zero improvement. Sure, they have produced some quality chances, but scoring chances won't win you games; you need to score goals.

I applaud Krueger for showing patience and not firing up the McBlender every few games, but at some point he can't keep hoping guys will produce. The line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle should be producing more goals, and eventually they will, but how long can Krueger wait?

That line has fired 57 shots on goal during the past five games, but they've only scored four times and one of those was an empty net goal. On 56 shots with a goalie in net they've combined for three goals and a woeful 5.3 SH%. Eventually they will start scoring more, but if Krueger doesn't try something to generate more scoring this team could find themselves out of the playoff hunt sooner than they'd like.

The Oilers had an optional skate this morning, but after chatting with a few people it sounds like Krueger will rotate the bottom three lines tonight.

Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky

They've played together for most of the year, but they've had limited success at ES. It was smart to move Yakupov away from Eric Belanger, because he wasn't generating anything, but this trio hasn't produced enough to be assume that they will automatically produce.

Smyth-Belanger-Eager

I like moving Eager up the lineup and giving him some more icetime, but if the Oilers don't score early tonight, I wouldn't hesitate to move Eager into the top-six and try to get some energy and net presence.

Hartikainen-Vande Velde-Paajarvi

Hartikainen and Paajarvi are struggling to find some consistency, and I'd look at slotting them in amongst the top-six as well. Both of them need to watch film on Ryan Jones in the offensive zone and try to do what he does.

THEO DEBUTS

After a four game conditioning stint, mixed in with a subtle message to be more focused, Theo Peckham makes his season debut tonight beside Mark Fistric. He will add some much needed abrasiveness and Krueger is hoping his attitude and style will help his offensive players. "To augment our skill you need guys who are difficult to play against. That's what Theo brings to our lineup," said Krueger.

N.Schultz-J.Schultz

They have been a solid pair, but if J.Schultz is going to be considered an offensive D-man he needs to start generating some points five-on-five. Schultz is tied for 22nd in scoring by D-men with eight points, which is very good for a rookie; however he is 142nd amongst D-men in ES scoring with only one point.

Smid-Petry

I'd like to see much more from Jeff Petry. He has no points in 15 games despite playing over 21 minutes a game. At some point he needs to generate something offensively..

Dubnyk

Nikolai Khabibulin has been great in his three appearances this year, and I had no issue with playing him v. Los Angeles. The backup needs to play at some point, but Dubnyk is their starter and he needs to have a bounce back game and after an average first period v. Colorado and third period v. Dallas.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are 14-26-5 v. the Wild since the 2005 lockout, but they are 10-10-2 at home. If this team has any hope of staying in the playoff race this is a game they need to win. They will reward their loyal fans with a 3-2 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Despite adding Zach Parise and Ryan Suter fans still think of the Wild as a boring team. Even though they've played some very exciting games the past few seasons, the Wild are still not a team that has Oiler fans excited to see. Rexall will not be electric tonight.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After Joey Moss gives birthday boy Ryan Smyth (37) the gears by calling him "older than dirt," he tells Smyth what he got him for his birthday. "Before the game I called my good buddy Wayne Gretzky and asked him to bless your stick. I held it in my hands as Wayne said his blessing," Joey told Smyth. 

Smyth is Gretzky's second biggest fan, behind Joey, and his face lit up after hearing Joey's story. Smyth walks back to the dressing room with a huge smile on his face staring at his stick imagining what Gretzky said, and it inspires him to play like a young Ryan Smyth. He scores tonight, gets a huge ovation from the fans and after the goal you see him high-fiving Moss behind the Oilers bench.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Walter Sobchak
February 21 2013, 11:32PM
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Last time I am saying this but would someone slap Kruegar in the face to wake him up!

When is he going to come to his senses and split Hemsky and Gagner up. It's getting frieakin ridicules

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#102 kelownoil_fan
February 21 2013, 11:37PM
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...when you hear players from other teams and announcers and media and fans talk about what the oilers seem to be lacking in grit and big bodies, is management convinced what they have is good enough and that people outside the organization don't understand???

Management either think their lineup is good enough and WRONG or are genius's with a plan that involves not winning just-quite-yet.

Just because you have so much pure talent.....well look at how not every all-star packed international team wins.........I am just an upset fan feeling like im being led by a carrot. a nice looking but ultimately fake plastic carrot.

(will always love the oilers but try to build a team that can win please. lol)

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#103 Ken Sutton
February 21 2013, 11:50PM
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Hi

I'm curious as to why the Oilers seem to think they can carry the puck in on most plays past the blue line? And then follow that up with not shooting the puck when they are in the slot. We have seen when they shoot the puck they win look at them vs the AVS?

Just two questions from a fan who is sick of Edmonton losing night in and night out in the third period.

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#104 Time Travelling Sean
February 21 2013, 11:55PM
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Who could we have drafted that would've brought us size in the top 6? Hall and Seguin are the same size, RNH is a center and is going to be a better player than Landy, Yak is 1 inch shorter than Gally?

Maybe we can trade one of them for a Clarkson/Clowe type player, but when we draft Moroz instead of Finn people get upset, and it's nearly impossible to trade for a player like that, especially a player like that who fits in our age group.

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#105 Oilersfan4
February 22 2013, 12:02AM
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Ken Sutton wrote:

Hi

I'm curious as to why the Oilers seem to think they can carry the puck in on most plays past the blue line? And then follow that up with not shooting the puck when they are in the slot. We have seen when they shoot the puck they win look at them vs the AVS?

Just two questions from a fan who is sick of Edmonton losing night in and night out in the third period.

Ya i agree with you i'm sick and tired of losing too,also sick and tired of management doing nothing.Tambo has done nothing since he's became GM,but drafted 3 kids that fell on his lap.

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#106 Time Travelling Sean
February 22 2013, 12:07AM
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@Oilersfan4

Give us your ideas then, who should we have traded and for whom? Try to think like the opposing teams GM instead of an Oilers GM.

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#107 oilersOne
February 22 2013, 12:25AM
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The reality of the situation is finally setting in! Here we sit after 16 games (about 1/3 the season) and the Oil are 6-7-3 and sitting 24th in the NHL. Last year through 27 games (about 1/3 of the season) they were 13-11-3 or the ~ equivalent of this season's record so far and in a similar position. In 2010, at (you guessed it ~ 1/3 of the season) 9-12-4 was where they sat as well for 15th in the west and 26th overall. Sounds all too familiar, doesn't it!! The problem here is that saying "we are so proud to select the first overall pick..." does not a successful rebuild make!! Tambo needs to make some moves, some good hockey moves to make this team competitive. I'm the first guy to say there is some exciting young talent on this squad but if they can't win a game, what does it matter?? There are some great pieces but not a great team. A great team requires a carefully woven mix of role players and unfortunately Tambo has just acquired a bunch of the same guy... young, small, skilled kids. Not a team that is tough to play against but who has the wheels to skate you into the ground... smash you through the wall yet snipe 2-3 goals a night. It's time for a trade, as Brownlee was saying earlier today "before its too late"... Or is it too late, we all know how things ended for the past two years with similar records to this at the 1/3 way point. SAD :( Very SAD :(

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#108 Slats
February 22 2013, 12:41AM
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Trades?

Hemsky and Whitney and 2nd rounder Sharp and Odouya

Hemsky and Whitney Ott and EhrHoff

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#109 Slats
February 22 2013, 12:50AM
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Another trade may be to approach Detroit who is 16 games into post-Lidstrom stress disorder! Detroit likes resurrection projects as well - hello Ryan Whitney!

I would,like to get a guy like Dan Cleary fist face offs and for work ethic, role model, Cup winner!

Belanger and Whitney

For

Cleary and Quincy

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#110 oilersOne
February 22 2013, 12:55AM
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@Time Travelling Sean

Since @Oilersfan4 is not answering, I have a few ideas:

1) The Oil could have traded something like Whitney, RNH and the pick that turned out to be first overall last year for Kassian, Meyers and Buffalo's first rounder #12 where they could have still picked up Grigorenko.

2) They could have probably made a similar trade to Boston for Krejci and Hamilton if you had the right assets in play (ie. RNH, Petry and first rounder??)

3) They could have made an offer sheet on Jamie Benn!!!!!!!

4) They still can try to work with the Avs for O'Reilly

5) The easy part is done for Tambo... "the Edmonton Oilers are so proud to select...". Now is the hard part, the moves that separate mediocre GMs from the great ones!!! Otherwise we will all be glued to the TV to see if the Oilers win the draft lottery for the 4th year in a row and pick another small skilled guy in June!!!

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#111 seanjohn
February 22 2013, 03:41AM
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it sooooo time for a trade it is well past banging my head against the wall. a trade is a tactic that is allowed... it is used by every other team. Tambo just doesn't think it is part of management. i just can't stand to see another season of patience and waiting to a high draft pick. this is unforgiveable that they see this season as wasteable, as a throw-away. Tambo, manage your ****ing hockey club!!!!!

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#112 Hammers
February 22 2013, 08:35AM
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Jason please start picking them to loose I think your putting a hex on them. Time for big shakeup .

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#113 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 22 2013, 09:42AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I think Gregor may have been answering with a hint of sarcasm.

I was just backing him up with something I saw the day before.

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