Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oilers losing ways and inept coaching are leading me to drink.

I cringe every time the Oilers play Carolina Hurricanes.  I don't know much about systems or style of play except to say the hockey isn't pleasing to watch when Hurricanes are in town.  End to end rushes rarely happen, pretty hockey becomes a distant memory and games are painful to watch.  Generally speaking Oilers aren't always the best at winning ugly, gritty, you know it is going to hurt hockey.  Tonight was no different. 

5 observations In Oilers too little too late 5-3 loss to Hurricanes.

1.  Bad pinch leads to goal.  Too many men penalty.  Undisciplined play by Maroon leads to penalty.  Bottom line team not ready to play.  That is on McLellan.  Coach needs to do more to get his team ready to play.  Much easier to get a new coach than make a trade of consequence in a salary cap world.  

2.  Why Brossoit starting when Oilers season depends on Talbot finding his game?  You have lost 3 in row and instead of giving your starting goalie who was awesome last year the opportunity to find his game you play the backup.  If I am Talbot I am pissed and want to the net.  Playing bad, getting yanked is keeping me up at night.  I need to the net to get the stink of losing and sucking out of my head.  What the Oilers were missing tonight was the big save as exemplified by the 4th and 5th Carolina goals when team was making a comeback.  Grant Fuhr makes those saves.  Talbot makes those saves last year.  Brossoit barely an NHL goalie does not make those saves.  

3.  If the Oilers insist on having defensive dman on the second unit power play why not have Nurse instead of Russell.  We all know what Russell is as a defenseman.  He isn't going to suddenly develop offensive flair this late in his career whereas Nurse is relatively unknown as an offensive talent.  Neither has a shot but Nurse still has time to develop one.  With Sekara and Benning out give Nurse a chance to see if he can develop a little.  

4.  Maroon should be barred from shaving until he gets into a fight.  I just do not like his game.  He got played on the first penalty.  I remember having the same thing happen to me when I played college ball.  Some yahoo gave me a shot, ref missed so I returned favor and ref called foul of me.  Last year he was fighting anyone he could.  In your face, gritty hockey.  Setting tone with soft hands and raging fists.  This year he is an invisible man.  No power forward should ever be clean shaven.  

5.  I like simplifying Ryan Strome's game.  Let him focus on a few small things, go to the net, tip a puck like he did and bam you have a goal.   Same with Lucic, hit, work hard and shoot the puck. So important for secondary scoring to take pressure off Oilers top line.  

I am depressed.  Drank half a bottle of my bosses whisky that he left in my vehicle.  Cheer me up, what positives did you observe in this game?

Stay Cool,

Master Iceman

Saturday, October 14, 2017

This is torture, Oilers get embarrassed by Senators

Nothing cleans the ears of an athlete out like losing.  A good playoff performance, Vegas odds makers saying Stanley Cup favorites and a good old fashion ass stomping of the hated Calgary Flames on opening night made the Oilers as deaf as an iceman working next to ice makers in the middle of the busy season.  When I say deaf I mean to what the coach is preaching.  Hard work, making the right plays, paying the price needed to win.  Losing to Canucks and Jets, back to back, better than Chinese candles to clearing up all that positive press clippings buzz getting in the way of what McLellan, the Oilers coach must of been preaching about how hard winning is... in theory that is... 

5 Observations in Oilers loss to the Ottawa Senators 

1.  Maroon Mr Invisible,  needs to get into a fight since he isn't scoring.  Like I always say, when notating else is working reach out and punch someone.  At least if he fights he can do something with the hands that seem to have lost the magic they had the year before.  I love Big Rig but whatever scoring touch he had last year is gone.  It is time for him to get off McDavid's line and have to earn his way back on it.  

2.  Do the Oilers have any shooters?  None of the defense have a shot that keeps goalies up at night which is a problem considering opposing teams just collapse down to handle the cycle down low.  The Oilers d could take a 100 shots and not score once.  None of the forwards or centers minus Draisailt who was out against the Senators have a shot of note.  They get the puck, gather for a wrist shot giving the goalie time to adjust and get ready.  Oilers have lots of greater passers but no shooters.  

3.  Talbot is not making the big save.  If opposing teams get a good look on Talbot they score.  He isn't in the zone, looks depressed in the net.  Someone needs to get him a shrink or a detective to find his confidence.  It has gone missing.

4.  I bet Darnell Nurse can bench press a lot.  He seems to bench press opposing players into the boards with reckless abandon.  If only he had a shot.  His offensive skillset is brutal.  Just brutal. 

5.  Yamamoto looks like an NHL player.  The passivity I saw in the first two games has disappeared where it looks like he is just learning to play hockey.  It don't matter if it is in the WHL or NHL, the game is still the same.  Get your nose dirty, go hard to the net and don't be afraid to fail.  I'd like to see him find some open spots in the slot to get a good shot.  Still think he would do with another year in Junior but there is a player there.  

Pretty depressing game for an Oilers addict like myself.  What did you see?  Wife said watching the game was torture. I had to turn it off at 6-0.  Wife begged me to stop watching it.  

Master Iceman

Monday, October 9, 2017

Oilers play cute and lose to Winnipeg Jets.

Khaira is one of my favorite players when he doesn't don the cloak of invisibility.  He is the type of player that needs to reach out and hit or punch someone regularly.  In Vancouver you could of put him on a milk carton as he was missing in action which is why against a big bruising team like Winnipeg he is not playing.  Here is hoping Khaira learns to bring the ice soon!

5 observations in Edmonton Oilers 5-2 loss to Winnipeg Jets

1.  Cute hockey scores goals but does not win hockey games.  Sure McDavid swooping in like a bird of prey on Josh Morrissey, taking the puck and feeding Draisailt for the GOAL looks great but for every cute play that worked the last two games, there was a half dozen that didn't work.  Finally Mcllelan broke up 97 and 29 ending cute hockey.  It was too late for this game but it sure woke the team up to the style of hockey needed to win in this league.  Hard skating, hit, go to the net hockey.  First time Draisailt looked awake.  Pay the man a fortune, it is about time Mcllelan gave him his own line.  Maybe next time Draisailt will get some better players on his wing.

2.  Yamamoto actually made an appearance.  In the first half of the game he was competing for the invisible man award but as soon as I wrote him off he got a shot, threw a hit and actually asserted himself into the game.  Sure Yam wasn't great, didn't score a goal and took a penalty at the end but there was promise, a hint of something more.

3.  Am I wrong about Darnell Nurse and his offensive upside??? That pass he made to RNH, leading him perfectly on a breakaway for a goal was a thing of beauty.  Defensively Nurse's foot speed, ability to stop, start and change directions is AWESOME.  Nobody is beating that man on a change of direction.  On offense Nurse still lacks a shot that would scare a WHL goal let alone an NHL one.  Most times he seems uncertain with what to do with the puck but then he makes a pass to RNH leaving me wonder.  How about you?

4.  Lucic isn't scoring goals.  Isn't even a threat to score based on where he gets the puck, but the man is a bowling ball with anyone in his way a bulling pin.  You could teach a Newtonian physics class on watching that man.  Lucic gets the bringing the ice award in this game because anyone he pummeled is going to need ice, lots of it.  If you need ice in Edmonton, Alberta, think Columbia Ice.

5.  Tipping pucks is a lost art in the NHL.  Nobody is getting very good shots these days, at least on the Oilers with many coming from the blue line.  What is needed is someone with good hands who can tip pucks and get the dirty Ryan Smyth type player goals.  I haven't seen Thomas Vanek play much except for the nice tip of the puck he made last game against Oilers but that is exactly what is need.  Oilers just don't have anyone with a rifle of a shot to score from afar so the only option is a change of direction or rebound garbage goals.  The type of goals Maroon was scoring last year.  Maroon against Winnipeg gets the invisible player of the game award.

How about you?  What did you observe watching Oilers get their butts handed to them by the Jets?  Leave a comment here or on twitter.  @ernieiceman

Until next time, STAY COOL!

Master Iceman