Sunday, November 23, 2014
The Final Straw?
It is funny how things sometimes workout. After posting a piece in this very spot on Saturday morning, which revolved around how fans of the Edmonton Oilers might want to ease up on the players, this group came out and proceeded to get pummelled by a score of 7-1 by the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
It was certainly an ugly evening and to their credit, the fans that were inside Rexall Place did not go overboard in voicing their displeasure and god knows they had every right to do so. If there were still people out there who believed this roster was good enough to compete in the Western Conference, all doubt should now be removed after watching how things played out last night.
Just like the Toronto Maple Leafs 9-2 thrashing at the hands of the Nashville Predators earlier this week, one game on its own does not make a season. It sucks for the fans, players and organization when a team gets embarrassed to the degree the Oilers did on Hockey Night in Canada but at the end of the day, it is just one game. Problem being, the losses are piling up and frustration has now set in and fixing it in season is next to impossible.
The personnel is simply not good enough and despite what the players tell the media, they know they are not good enough and when you don’t have belief in one other, you are done. There are those out there who seem to think this team has quit on one another or are trying to get Dallas Eakins fired but that is not the case.
In all honesty, Edmonton actually came out of the gate strong and were the better of the two teams over the opening few minutes but unfortunately the Hawks were able to beat Ben Scrivens on their first two shots of the game and just like that the route was on. You could see it on the players’ collective faces and once things started snowballing on them, they were unable to stop what many still believe to be one of the best teams in all of hockey.
While it may seem as though it happened ages ago, the Oilers humiliated Chicago on two separate occasions at Rexall Place and it is something those players still bring up whenever they pay a visit to the Alberta capital. They have not taken this team lightly for some time now and are always focused whenever they face the team wearing Orange and Blue. Add that to Edmonton’s current state of mind and what we saw unfold out on the ice was no real shock.
Fans want to see heads roll and at some point the general manager will do something but firing his head coach will likely not be the first move he makes. There will be a trade and/or trades coming and for the organization’s sake, hopefully Craig MacTavish does not rush into doing anything stupid because this season has been a lost cause for some time now. Regardless of road he goes down, these next four months are going to be difficult for the fans, players and organization to stomach but that is the reality of the situation and nothing is going to change that.
While there is plenty of blame to go around, the mess we are currently watching is on the general manager and he had better do something to help his coaches and players out because continuing to pretend this group is better than they really are has to stop.