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Playoffs Not In The Equation For The Oilers

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

It is a grim thing how the Oilers’ season had gone off the rails, and hard to see any solutions on the horizon, even with Taylor Hall returning to the lineup from injury, possibly towards the end of the week.

The Oilers’ defence is leaky, their offence has ground to a halt and the goaltending remains largely mediocre. The confidence level appears to be zero; they are trying to be altogether too cute when they have the puck; and they don’t seem to have a clue how to play without it. Not a recipe for a quick turnaround.

As of Monday morning, the Oilers were 10 points behind the fifth-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. Under the new NHL realignment plan, the top three teams in each division make the playoffs along with two wild cards.

So that’s 10 points they have to make up in a division that includes only one other real weak link – their Alberta counterparts, the Calgary Flames. It is the start of the second month of the NHL season and the task is practically hopeless already.

Many general managers, including the Red Wings’ Ken Holland, believe that teams move in tandem in the standings once you get about six weeks into the season and only on the rarest occasion can a club dig itself out of such a precarious early-season deficit. So the arithmetic is heavily skewed against the Oilers and then there is the matter of getting their act together on the ice.

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....it really is a head scratcher how the oilers can garner so very many top draft choices, and still be foundering, with no breakout in sight…..perhaps they figured that since the penguins and hawks took a similar route to excellence, that the same scenario would magically unfold for them….bad management ??...no structure ???....no system ???...bad coaching ??....all of the above ??...

...for my two cents, i’ll go with no system…..these are mostly a group of kids, from different programs, thrown together and asked to gel…..a team of alpha all-stars with no common ground…..that they are being stomped on a regular basis is not likely to change until they have a system that uses their collective talents to the utmost…..this, then falls into the coach’s lap….as he tries to right the ship…..management should have it’s knuckles rapped for not surrounding these kids with players who have been there before…..third and fourth liners from championship teams…..the glue guys….

....this cornucopia of talent could likely be mostly retired by the time the next half-dozen #1’s are able to grasp the nhl game…..

....being a wingfan, i feel fortunate to root for a club that doesn’t need to play it’s first round pick in the next season, but allow him to learn the structure and methods of a self-perpetuating program….

Posted by dingus from the salty great lake on 11/04/13 at 08:23 PM ET

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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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