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Eakins: No point trying to match Bruins physically

Dec 12, 2013, 5:17 PM EDT

Dallas Eakins Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers have no desire to prove they’re not afraid of the big, bad Boston Bruins. Instead of trying to stand up physically to the Eastern Conference brutes, coach Dallas Eakins wants his players to use their speed and skill tonight at Rexall Place.

“I think it might not be the smartest game plan to try and match them physically,” Eakins said, per “If you don’t match up that way, there’s no use trying to do it. I want to use more of our speed and our smarts against them.

“I’m not sure if they’re as big as they have been in the past. They still have some heavy guys, but I want to get into a game where we’re playing quick with really good puck support, and if we do have to give up the puck, then we’re going to be first to it. To go in and try to match a team like this physically, I don’t think it gives us a chance to win the game.”

The Bruins don’t have a long list of weaknesses, but they have at times had trouble against fast teams. (See: last year’s playoffs, when they nearly lost to the Leafs.)

After a disastrous 4-15-2 start to the season, Edmonton is 7-3-1 in its last 11 games.

Related: The Oilers are doing that thing where they show their vast potential again

  1. nunan - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Bs are without Kelly, McQuaid, Hamilton, Thornton, and Paille..all physical guys…so not sure that part of their game is as much in their favor as one might think..missing Eriksson too but he’s more of a twinkle toes..Bs still win.

  2. penvik - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Bruins aren’t even tough. I hate how this sticks with them from the 60s&70s. Los Angeles and St. Louis are much more intimidating. Boston is not tough at all. Winers, divers, cheap shot artists are all categories that Boston would rank highly in.

    • tlndma - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Do posts like this somehow soothe the ass kickin you got last spring?

    • theskinsman - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      Bruins are in 1st place. With more points than the cheap shot, diving,sniveling pens. It’s really funny how the nitwit pens fans are still crying over last seasons’ playoff beatdown by Boston.

    • drewzducks - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      Loser fan of a cowardly loser team.

    • upyourstodd - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:01 AM

      I would be very interested to hear your take on a player like say, Patrice Bergeron.

    • pete387 - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      The Penguins have a long history of whining. From the King of the Retired Whiners, Mario right up to the biggest crybaby today, Crosby.

  3. irokkit - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Hey, what gives????

    Ps. The Bruins were pathetically inept in the 60’s. just thought you’d like to know.

    • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      indeed friend, but they were a powerhouse by the end of that decade … :)

  4. muckleflugga - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    eakins, the classic sandbag while he’s trying to hold the reins on his young temperamental horses

    i have a feeling bruins will be skated into the ground tonight…they’re due a gubbing; sleep for two periods tonight and they’ll be on the wrong side of four goals or more

    oilers are coming around, snipers ranging in; speed always trump big slower-footed teams…

    bruins get schooled by quick relentless skating speed teams every time…look at their record against wings

    i like bruins generally, but as a betting man, i smell overlay…time to pounce

  5. irokkit - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Hi JB

    How come you are censoring my posts?
    Just wondering.

    • Jason Brough - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      Not doing anything to your comments.

    • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      friend … I bet you’re doing something wrong with your computer, phone, watch or whatever ?

  6. irokkit - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    PS. JB stands for Jason Burrogh. He is the (talented) author of many an article. Including this one.
    He has authoritative powers. If a post (vulgarity aside) does not run concurrent with his thinking…he executes it.
    He has shown me over the last few days that he maintains (he has every right) a clear anti-Bruins position. No problem.
    Have fun boys. And don’t forget, part of the machine exists in you ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

    (Sound of water going down the drain with no vent…glug, glug, glug)

    • govtminion - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      …your tin-foil hat has a hole in it. Just FYI.

    • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      friend … one of the reasons I frequent this ‘glorious’ PHT website is due to the absence of any sort of ‘Orwellian’ control … and of course the ‘excellent’ writings of Burrogh & crew don’t hurt either ! :)

      • drewsylvania - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:03 PM

        It’s interesting as well that it’s the opposite of the PFT area, where the mod plays whackamole.

      • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM

        Drew, I came here as a refugee from PGT when it was overtaken by the Golf Channel two years ago. We used to have a ‘riot’ over there in those days, especially with all the Tiger scandal stuff ! :) Ryan Ballengee, Lanny, Naegele, etc … those were good people they were good times ! Then the Golf Channel took over and the whole thing went ‘Adolf’ overnight, which was really a shame. Virtually everyone disappeared off the radar screen and today I wouldn’t even look at that ‘boring, bland & predictable’ garbage to save my own life ! Anyway, I’m not sure who’s behind the controls here at PHT ? But whoever it is, they should be very happy, as they’ve got a really ‘special, fun and unique’ thing going here ! :)

        *** Top NHL Hockey & Sports Information Sources as per Bloomberg News ***

        1) PHT :)
        2) LA Kings Insider
        3) TSN
        4) The Hockey News
        5) CBS Sports

        96) The Hindustan Times
        97) Alexander Ovechkin
        98) Bronski Beat

      • mp1131211 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        Bloomer- are you kissing butt just so they don’t ban you again?

  7. irokkit - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:26 PM


    *Brough*. My apologies JB

  8. spitfisher - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    The oilers are a fast team, maybe the plan will work, maybe not, either way they still have to get the puck thru the layers of sidenberg/ Chara and of course Rask

    • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      Ever heard of the Maginot Line ?

      Check it out friend. The French thought it would be their ‘eternal’ answer to peace. However in May 1940, powerful ‘armored’ German forces simply side-stepped the entire thing (Plan Yellow) and thus ‘carried the day’ for themselves in the process.

  9. blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:47 PM


    I say ‘good on’ Eakins for seeing the light ! The key to winning in hockey is by putting more pucks in the opposition’s net than the opposition can put in yours, it’s as simple as that. Therefore all of this ‘Planet of the Apes’ crap which teams like the Bruins seem to espouse is a ‘complete’ waste of time. I get sick & tired of listening to these ‘dopes’ like Pierre McGuire going on about so & so had 6.3 hits tonight, or they should be finishing the check with more ‘compete’ etc. Hockey is a contact sport and so physicality and sometimes violence are a given, that’s just a part of the deal. No, you win at this game by scoring goals which requires skill, speed, creativity, intelligence, athleticism, bravery, aplomb and conviction. The intent of smashing people into the boards is obviously to ‘intimidate’, much like some bully in the playground. However any team with half a brain will simply parlay such ‘stupidity’ into quality scoring opportunities for themselves and thus make the ‘primate’ pay on the scoreboard.

    For some time now, I’ve been calling for our LA Kings to think more along the lines of ‘dynamic’ scoring as opposed to the MMA / Planet of the Apes crap. We’re already the biggest team in the league and so we’ve nothing to prove to anyone. Take last night for example. The reason we won the game was because Doughty saw an open lane (creativity) and then fired home the puck with pinpoint precision (skill) … the reason we won the game was because Carter seized an opportunity (athleticism) and then calmly put the puck past Bernier (aplomb) while using Carcillo as a decoy (intelligence). So while it was fun to watch Jordan Nolan beating the crap out of some no-name, the fact is that that had absolutely ‘nothing’ to do with us walking away with two points.

    Anyway, again I say ‘good on’ Eakins for seeing the light and best wishes to the Oil in their game tonight ! :)

    • gerrharr66 - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      I’m a little hesitant to engage here, Mr. Blomfeld, but are you suggesting that skating around like cavemen and mashing people into the boards is all there is to this Bruins team? If so I think that’s a rather myopic view. Exhibit A: David Krejci. Smart, creative, sublime playmaker. Bergeron is not the most exciting player on the ice but he’s a great two way player and is excellent defensively. Even one of the throw ins from the Seguin trade, Smith, has shown tremendous puck skills and clever passing ability. I’m with you on the desire to see skill over brawn, but as a typically polite lifelong B’s fan (forgive me but lifelong in my case only goes back to the days of Nifty Middleton) it really bothers me the way folks out there paint this team with such a broad stroke.

      • mp1131211 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        There’s some truth there. But don’t blame others for thinking that the Bruins are nothing but goons. If they’ve ever tuned in to hear Jack Edwards, they would be left with the feeling that the only thing this team does is fight. He practically yawns when they score and nearly pisses himself when they fight.

      • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:32 PM


        Could ‘Nifty’ Middleton = Rick Middleton ?

        Friend, your remarks are valid and well received. Of course I’m poking fun at you guys and of course you Bruins are gifted with a ‘plethora’ of talented goal scorers … so no argument there. Nonetheless, I am sincere with my belief that the key to winning in hockey is using the ‘brain’ as opposed to the body. In fact, that’s probably so with most endeavors in life eh ? Just look at what happened last spring to us Kings in the playoffs. We got sucked into a ‘smash fest’ with both the Blues and Sharks and to such an extent that by the time the WC rolled around, the Hawk’s were already licking their chops before the puck was even dropped ! As you say, ‘skill over brawn’ is the key to victory and anyone who questions that fact will ultimately do so at their own peril !

        ps: by the way, I was a Bruins fan from 1966-1971 … Bobby Orr was my first ever ‘favorite’ player of all time and Gerry Cheevers was my favorite goalie ! … as a nine year old when we were on that CN train moving from Montreal to Vancouver in the cold winter of ’69, I even wrote a full-paged ‘letter of allegiance’ to my Boston Bruins ! … my dear late mum promised me that my letter would be delivered and in my under-developed mind at the time, I thought that addressing it simply to a ‘Mister Orr’ in Boston would ensure it’s delivery … I suspect that my letter never even got off that train … :)

  10. muckleflugga - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:50 PM


    nothing worse than attacking a guy with truth, ruthless logic and manners…i love it

    perhapzzz herr blomfeldt is suggesting bruins, like most teams, izz vell populated vis zee skill players, but choose to deploy zerr elite corps in trenches razzer than in zee panzers

    aaah, nifty middleton…those were the good old days

    back to you blomfeldt

    • blomfeld - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:37 PM


      As I type this friends, special ‘shock units’ of Panzer Group Blomfeld are already moving in to ‘silence’ the reactionary known as Flugga ! He and his blasphemous confederates will be ‘neutralized’ and the voice of truth will continue to be heard, free from any more ‘misguided and/or disingenuous’ interference !


  11. yanks33 - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Luke Gazdic will handle any Bruin who wants to be a tough guy

  12. mikemaric - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Heavy teams do well in 7 game series. Bruins have a fair bit if skill too though. Bergeron is one if the most underrated players in the league. His resume is amazing. Belonged to the best World Junior Team of all-time in my opinion.

  13. muckleflugga - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM


    oh oh, looks like oilers could use help in the net…they’re getting their clocks cleaned after all

    yeah, summer of 69, fantastic, but followed by a long cold winter with no stop to the snow…in calgary. i spent that christmas in vancouver and it was sub tropical…i’d never seen green trees in winter before

    but it poured rain, yet there was optimism in the air…the canucks were rumoured to become reality [ it’s been raining since insofar as hockey fortunes ]

    as for your ratings, i give the edge to blogs on the hindustani times over tsn; it’s gone full-prude and all the interesting knowledgeable posters have disappeared

    pure junk in comparison to hockey coverage otherwise

  14. vegasroxy123 - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Penvic, please put the bottle down snd don’t drive. Your are not in your right mind.

  15. Seabass1970 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Bruins aren’t even tough. I hate how this sticks with them from the 60s&70s. Los Angeles and St. Louis are much more intimidating. Boston is not tough at all. Winers, divers, cheap shot artists are all categories that Boston would rank highly in.


    Have you EVEN seen them play knucklehead

  16. Seabass1970 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    the bruins are one of the best teams in the league and prove it every night. when your good ALL those cry babies come out saying how you are cheap and dirty and what ever watch a game and learn who the city of champions really is.

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