Friday, November 28, 2008
This article confirms what some of us have been saying for a few weeks now and what I talked about yesterday. Craig MacTavish is in trouble and barring a miraculous turnaround he is done as coach of the Edmonton Oilers and it will likely be quite soon.
The team sits a couple of points out of last place today. The good news, of course, is that they sit a couple of points out of the playoffs as well so its not like we're talking about the deficit that last year's club faced by Christmas. The bad news remains, however, that this team is underachieving and that the guy who is going to take the fall for it is the coach.
When a source within the organization says that a coaching change may be considered then make no mistake, the day is coming.
Over at Lowetide's a crazy thread that included the best and worst of the Oilogosphere - slipper's "confessions" from the anonymous player (Ales Hemsky's is below the title of this blog), genius, a troll who arrived out of nowhere to begin insulting everyone, traktor taking his ball home, again, Jonathan Willis being outed as a closet Stars' fan (as well as having his choice of pajamas discussed) and much speculation and parsing of speech patterns as to who this unnamed player is. Good fun.
Actual journalist David Staples pointed out, interestingly enough, that looking to the only player actually quoted in the article would be a good place to start. Journalism 101.
Whoever the player is matters although it would matter more if someone in the organization wasn't throwing MacT under the bus at the same time. It would also matter if it was not so glaringly obvious that there is more then one player who would likely be happy to see MacTavish go.
I remarked yesterday and Bruce picked up on it that one of the notable events Wednesday night was Liam Reddox blocking a shot. It was notable in that it, once a signature of this club, doesn't happen anymore. Ethan Moreau broke a bone blocking a shot last preseason for Christ sakes. This team always has blocked shots and now it rarely does. While it takes some technique and care or you'll end up like Patrick Thoresen, blocking a shot is a simple exercise and speaks more to commitment then to ability.
The commitment is not there from this team.
Five days of coaching and meetings ended up in Wednesday night's debacle.
What does that say about this club? The same as all of the poor starts and abortive efforts mentioned yesterday.
I expect that Saturday afternoon will see MacT's last hoorah. Horcoff and Moreau and Staios and Hemsky will lead the charge and show what they think of their coach and the team will have a concerted effort. And then Sunday we will see disaster once again.
And that will be it. Hell, Saturday may be it. And if Saturday is another half hearted effort then Lowe, oh sorry, Tambellini will have no choice. Anonymous sources cutting up the coach, management's defence of said coach and then a poor effort in response will say it all.
As for the talk of a trade turning this thing around here we are with more smoke and mirrors. Who are they going to trade to shake the team up? Everyone's value is depressed except Hemsky, Souray, Lubo, Gilbert and Moreau. Moving any of the first four would be foolish and moving Moreau when he is one of the few guys who can play tough minutes and play LW would be making the team weaker.
Moving a kid when you are rebuilding would be just plain stupid unless you can get a good piece in return.
And this team is not good enough to begin moving veteran players without receiving sure things in return. What sure thing are you going to get for Cole or Penner?
So who is left? Garon? Pouliot? Spare parts? None of these is going to send shivers through the room.
Meanwhile while Curtis Glencross tears it up down the highway, scoring and playing tougher minutes then he did last year, Kevin Lowe escapes censure once again.
Nice job if you can get it.
This is post # 500 here at BDHS in what will be nearly three years of writing about these Oilers and one thing is for certain. There is never a dull moment. Jesus.
Posted by Black Dog at 11:30 AM