Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce McCurday of The Cult of Hockey,
I daresay I’m not the only Edmonton Oilers fan who gets sick and tired of the team getting called out in the national media. Especially so when those critics are all too willing to throw in gratuitous insults about the city and the fanbase, as if we are somehow deserving of our lot in life supporting a club that has become something of a laughing stock for its constant, ongoing futility.
I am, however, prepared to make exceptions for fully informed commentators who are able to focus on the real problems while sparing the cheap shots. The man at the top of that list may well be Ray Ferraro, the TSN broadcaster who once worked as a regional colour man for the Oilers from 2003-08 and who has followed the team’s (mis)fortunes closely ever since. Ferraro has been harsh in his criticisms of the team to the point that some consider him an Oiler-hater, but to my ear many if not most of those assessments are valid, at least to a degree.
Take Wednesday afternoon’s segment on the Jason Gregor Show, when Ferraro let fly for the better part of 20 minutes in his usual shoot-from-the-hip fashion that emerges from his mouth in complete sentences and a high degree of articulateness that puts some of us writers to shame....
Ray Ferrrar speaks...
They’re coming off a guy that hasn’t coached in the NHL before, and they need a guy to transition the new coach. To me that’s a red flag. I would have thought given the disarray that the Oilers are in — and contrary to what Craig [MacTavish] has said, I don’t think they look much better than last year — and my thought has been somebody along the lines of Terry Murray, he’s been around the game for 35 years, he’s a real stickler for discipline, and he’s probably better with a young team than an older team. That would have been my thought had I been in charge. I look what Winnipeg did last year when they went from Claude Noel to Paul Maurice, there was no transitioning needing. Now Todd Nelson may turn out to be a fine coach, I just don’t know enough about him, but I do know he hasn’t coached in the NHL before.
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
“Point three seconds,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “I couldn’t believe it. I looked up, thinking it would be five seconds, 10 seconds. Of course, it has to be under a second left.” ...
With just three tenths of a second left on the overtime clock, Martin Erat slipped around Nugent-Hopkins with the puck and before the Oilers could say shootout, Oliver Ekman-Larsson beat Ben Scrivens with the winner.
“Heartbreaker,” said (Todd) Nelson. “I think there were five seconds left, the play was on the wall near our bench, and all of a sudden, they have a rush and Larsson makes a great shot.”
“It sucks. It really does. It’s just like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’ ” said captain Andrew Ference. “Those plays are extremely frustrating, but you can’t toss the positives out of the window. We were playing for the win.
“Yeah, the final play of the game sticks with you, and it’s hard to shake off, but you can’t constantly beat yourself up about it.”
more on the game and watch the Oliver Ekman-Larsson goal below...
More in the recent timeline of Damien Cox.
Dallas Eakins will be meeting with the media today at 12:00pm ET.
You can watch it below...
added 11:56am, The conference will also be on NHL Network US.
added 12:28pm, press conference is over.
Something needs to change, and if it isn’t a blockbuster trade, maybe it’ll be as simple as landing a highly regarded prospect such as Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the 2015 NHL entry draft.
Fans may ponder the long-term benefits of that, and team officials may, in their most private moments, wish for that, too. From his perspective, MacTavish cannot. He needs to prove to Katz that this team, his baby, is heading in the right direction. Otherwise, he will be like Eakins, looking for a new opportunity.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on the Edmonton Oilers.
The only time they (Edmonton Oilers) contend is in the draft lottery.
-Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal talking Oilers on Sportsnet's Prime Time Sports tonight.
The press conference is scheduled to start at 1:45pm ET.
Hopefully you can watch it below, if not, Sportsnet has a live stream ready to go.
added 1:49pm, Well that did not go well, no stream below and the Sportsnet link is not showing the presser either, maybe geo blocked?
Sorry for this but was unsure if we could get it.
added 2:50pm, video of the presser is below...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So Eakins is out – he leaves Edmonton with a 36-63-14 record – and MacTavish is in, on an interim basis.
The Oilers have most of four months to play out the string and perhaps most importantly, the goal now is to shed the team’s losing culture and make hockey fun again - if such a thing is possible. The playoffs are not possible and the line the Oilers need to walk is to regain their credibility as an NHL market, but perhaps not win an excessive number of games from here until the end, because it would jeopardize their chances of drafting first overall next June. In the year of Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, projected by scouts to be franchise-altering players in the mode of a Sidney Crosby, it isn’t easy. Your heart says one thing – win as much as possible, and let the lottery ping pong balls fall as they may. Your head says, someone’s going to land these two kids; why not us?
Of course, the likelihood is we wouldn’t even be discussing the Oilers in the context of the McDavid sweepstakes if MacTavish had left well-enough alone and just kept Ralph Krueger on as his head coach. Krueger coached the Oilers in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and they were showing signs of becoming competitive. They were 19-22-7, third in the old Northwest Division, and 12th in the conference, their best showing in six years. But MacTavish was convinced that Eakins was an upgrade; and was a hot commodity that would have gone elsewhere if he hadn’t been offered the head-coaching position. So he made an unnecessary change; handled the fallout badly; and it exploded massively in his face.
added 12:03pm, Dreger tweet,
Confirming MacTavish returns to bench on interim basis. Replacing Eakins who was fired this morning.
note 12:12pm, removed the word Report from the headline.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
t's time, now, for Edmonton fans to embrace it.
It's time for the 'Dishonour For Connor' 'Be A Gonner For Connor' McDavid movement become the focus for the customers who have been responsible for nine straight seasons of Rexall Place sellouts (even if some tickets are currently going for $8.75 on StubHub).
It's time for Edmonton fans to start to start to agree with owner Daryl Katz' obvious grand plan to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no ... well he doesn't speak does he?
To this point of the season, most fans are screaming for the Oilers to do something.
Or maybe that was two or three weeks back. Now it seems the fans have simply drifted toward apathy with a care level that's a low as it's been since Peter Pocklington's final days.
At what point does it hit home that G.M. Craig MacTavish's recently expressed plan to do nothing, is the perfect plan?
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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