Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Key quotes from the Craig MacTavish press conference.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish held a year-end presser, starting off with the expected comments, that the team hadn’t met expectations this year, but everyone in the organization is still committed to winning a Stanley Cup. The culture of the organization is to bring in hard-working, competitive “character” people.
This is exactly what the 14 other NHL GMs who didn’t make the playoffs are now telling their fans.
As for specifics, MacTavish gave a stay-the-course kind of message, with no promise of any bold moves, though he did talk about adding a “high-end” d-man.
On Eakins: “This is the right coach to lead us.”
“I’m more confident in my decision to hire Dallas Eakins than the day I hired him,” MacTavish said. “I’m more convinced that this is the right coach to lead us into much more successful times. … Time will prove that this coach was a very good hire for our organization. I really feel like he’s the guy to add the cultural elements, and police the cultural elements, that are necessary to build the quality team that we’re trying to build.
Ryan Smyth's final game ended with an Edmonton 5-2 win over Vancouver.
added 9:29am, Below, watch Ryan Smyth on HNIC After Hours segment last night...
Ryan Smyth is expected to announce his retirement today and you can watch the live stream below.
The press conference is expected to start at 4:00pm ET.
added 4:09pm, Also below, Oilers' official release on Smyth retirement.a
added 4:29pm, Live stream is complete.
From my seat, I think the cold water thrown on the fans this year will prevent many from getting all hot and bothered about watching playoff hockey next season. And watching the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs won’t likely help much, either.
That said, when it comes to the big picture, the hope will return.
-Terry Jones on the Edmonton Oilers. Read more from Jones at the Edmonton Sun.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes let their lead slip away in the final minute of regulation, and Oilers center Sam Gagner – who pushed the game to overtime – scored the lone shootout goal in Round 4 to complete the comeback.
"The way we gave up the second goal, that's demoralizing," coach Dave Tippett said. "But it's not time to hang your head now. It's like losing a game in overtime in the playoffs. You've got to get back at it. That's where we're at."
watch the late, game tying goal by Sam Gagner below. TV color analyst Tyson Nash said it best- Ow....
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
In the end it may not mean a thing, but there are signs of growth from the Edmonton Oilers lately under Dallas Eakins.
On Sunday, the Oilers beat the Hurricanes 2-1 on the road. No great accomplishment, but it helped Edmonton earn five of a possible eight points on its four-game road trip.
The midseason tweaks GM Craig MacTavish has made in Edmonton have been positive. Goalie Ben Scrivens won again and has a .932 save percentage with the Oilers, so far fending off the expectations that his stats would take a nosedive when he left the protection of the Los Angeles Kings' defensive system.
Matt Hendricks has been another positive influence on this young team, scoring occasionally but also setting an example on how to work. There are still offseason changes to be made by MacTavish, but at least there's some hope for Edmonton fans to grab on to.
read on for Burnside on the Flyers, LeBrun on the Canadiens and Strang on the Sharks...
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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