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What's Wrong with the Edmonton Oilers?


Pyrene

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The Oilers are losing because they too often do too many of the little things incorrectly, team captain Andrew Ference told hockey journalist Jason Gregor atOilers Nation this week.

Ference could not have been more correct about what ails the Oilers, a team full of marvellously skilled hockey players, who evidently spent the formative years of their hockey careers with the puck on their sticks, but in many cases failed to learn and commit to defensive fundamentals.

Now they are playing catch up at the NHL level. It’s not always pretty, even if the players are keen to play better defensive hockey. Changing engrained habits is no easy matter.

Here’s what Ference told Gregor on the issue of the little things.

“If you look across the league, any team that has been consistently good for the last few years they all have a consistent compete level, a real desire to defend and get the puck back. Those little things aren’t the highlights of the night, but they are the foundation of the game. The good teams have a consistent dedication to those details.

“Winning teams are full of players that really understand the importance of those small details. It’s not a secret.”

“Failing to do these little things is not acceptable,Ference said. ”It can’t be acceptable in the room, but most importantly it can’t be acceptable to the player himself. It is a very philosophical thing. You want to have a room full of guys that aren’t doing those little details because the coach tells them to. They are doing it because they want to, and they know that it helps everybody.

“Everybody can learn. That is the one thing everyone can do, but it takes a lot of commitment.

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/01/whats-wrong-the-edmonton-oilers-little-things-many-many-many-little-things/

// I see why its such a good thing to have your prospects to develop and mature in the at a lower level first before playing in the NHL. It doesn't matter how skilled you are; if you can't play defence, you're not going to succeed. Probably why its a good idea to not rush Horvat, Gaunce, Shinkaruk, etc. into the NHL.

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They think that getting a defensive defense men will solve all their problems but don't realize that it takes a whole team to lower Goals against. On top of that they have had some bad luck with injuries to many of there key forwards. Anyways before any of us want to think of rebuilding to improve our team in the future lets just say rebuilding isn't the way to go for Canadian teams. American teams never fail at rebuilds and never will look at the avalanche then look at the oilers. I hope all Canadian teams learn from Edmonton and do more of a Toronto type rebuild rather than Edmonton.

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Why does Dallas Eakins always look like his dog just died?

Seriously though, there's a number of reasons why the Oilers suck. No team defence is one. Expecting Andrew Ference to solve your defensive problems is another. Devan Dubnyk is yet another.

The Oilers play with no identity, no consistency, no cohesion amongst the forward groups. You can have all the skilled guys in the world but if they can't play as a unit, you're not going to win in this league. They drafted too many of the same type of player, and as talented offensively as they may be, or have the potential to be, that's only one part of the game.

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Paying first round picks $6+ million after their ELC is done isn't help anything either.

They lack the Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen, and Chris Tanev type players who help fill the gaps. This problem won't fix itself in one season, and it may never get corrected until management stops giving huge second contracts to their first round picks.

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It's their whole organizational philosophy. It's full of young kids that were given a bunch of entitlements....money, roster spots, fame, and ice time. They never developed the small details in their games that matter. Compare them to Detroit or Vancouver, where players in these organization have had to work very hard to earn their contracts, and rosters spots. The slow, methodical approach to player development has been key to success in these organizations. Players like the Sedin twins started out as third liners and eventually moved up to become top of the line front line players. Kesler, Burrows, Hansen, Tanev, Bieksa, Schneider (No longer on this team.) are good examples of players that had to earn their contracts and spots through hard work and development. Pretty much the opposite in Edmonton.

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The problem with the oilers is that their young guys are the "guys". Good teams will bring young players into the lineup as support players while still having vets to carry the majority of the load. As the vets start to retire, the young guys take on a more prominent role and have hopefully been taught how to be a professional.

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Why does Dallas Eakins always look like his dog just died?

Seriously though, there's a number of reasons why the Oilers suck. No team defence is one. Expecting Andrew Ference to solve your defensive problems is another. Devan Dubnyk is yet another.

The Oilers play with no identity, no consistency, no cohesion amongst the forward groups. You can have all the skilled guys in the world but if they can't play as a unit, you're not going to win in this league. They drafted too many of the same type of player, and as talented offensively as they may be, or have the potential to be, that's only one part of the game.

He's probably still fuming over that 5 year old who hurt his feelings.

As for OP's question: I agree with the 5 year old.

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eakins.gif

In a nutshell, Eakins is an AHL coach, and his ideas aren't translating well off the bat for the Oilers, who are technically an NHL team.

The 'swarm' defense tactic is a fail at the NHL level because a ton of NHLers possess the skills to get around it. The Oiler defensive lineup wasn't stellar to begin with, so why this system was put into place is a mystery, although Eakins himself admitted it was a mistake and it will be rectified.

Also, a rookie GM and a rookie coach combined with an ultra-young lineup: Since when has that been successful?

The top-6 is buttery-soft. Hall is the toughguy there. Hall... Mr. Reckless Abandon...

That being said, MacT hasn't made his crazy moves yet. You know they're coming, and they're going to be crrrraaazy! What he should've done by now is trade Hemsky, just to balance the lineup and get rid of the vet cancer. Now they're talking about trading Eberle or Yakupov. Um, whut?

Add in injuries, the vanishing of Nail Yakupov (which may be part of a coach-player problem, a Hemsky problem, or maybe he just wants out), and the non-over-all-improvement of 'future hall-of-famers' such as RNH, who along with Justin Schultz are proving that they're immature and incapable of playing against other teams' top lines, and you have a severely disappointing start to the season.

But never fear, Oilers fans, your hero and saviour is on the horizon:

messier.gif

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