by Lisa McRitchie on 10/24/13 at 10:30 AM ET
For the second day in a row, the headlines are still focussing on Lars Eller’s comments Tuesday night. Yes from Tuesday night. Today is Thursday. At this point, is this just a matter of people looking for something to be upset about; simply looking for controversy? Yes, yes it is.
“It can be anything, you know? They play a little bit like a junior team, I think, sometimes,” Eller said pre-game.
“They take a lot risks, a lot of chances. They’re a little all over the place. There’s not a lot of structure always in their game. It can really be anything. You don’t know.
“I prefer a little more structured game. Then again, I don’t mind high-scoring games, too. Obviously, we’re going to try with their skilled players to limit their chances.”
Looking at that quote, you can see how some would see that Eller was calling the Oilers a junior team. But if you listen to him, take it in context and look at the words, Eller was simply saying that he didn’t know what to think about the Oilers, didn’t know what to expect. Why? Because they don’t have a lot of structure to their game just yet, and you know what? He’s right.
The Oilers have been struggling through the beginning of this season to work with head coach Dallas Eakin’s new swarm system. Eakins has also altered the Oilers power play and penalty kill that worked so well last year. But, Eakins is the new head coach and he wants to see if can’t make things better, and eventually they have to get better or once again, the Oilers will be making more changes to their payroll.
Following the game, coach Eakins exclaimed "When you have a player like Lars Eller running his mouth before the game, it makes for great banter in our dressing room and great motivation, that is a total hockey god thing. I'm sure that young man has learned his lesson, and I highly doubt you'll see anything like that out of his mouth again."
This of course has caused today’s reports that Eller is remorseful about what he said.
If it has come to this, if the Oilers need people to trash talk them, or at least to think that they have been trashed talked, this is truly a sad state of affairs. But the reality is that hockey is an emotional game and players and coaches will take their motivation from anywhere they can.
Eller wasn’t being disrespectful, he was stating a fact, no one knows what to expect from the Oilers on any given night. That’s it. Eakins wasn’t being disrespectful, he was just speaking post game about his team’s comeback win. That’s it.
Hopefully, tomorrow’s news will be news. Hopefully tomorrow we can focus on hockey and less on an innocent honest and candid comment.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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