End of Bobby?

Robin Brownlee
December 20 2008 01:24PM

We don't know for sure that Friday marked the beginning of the end of Robert Nilsson's days as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, but it sure sounded like it to listen to coach Craig MacTavish.

Now, maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, or maybe it was just the frustration of watching Nilsson float again before grabbing some pine in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place, but it sounded like MacT is done with the Little Magic Man.

You tell me.

"No competitiveness," MacTavish said in his post game comments when asked about benching Nilsson in the third period.

"We try and coddle the competitiveness out of him, but he just didn't have any again tonight. I've had enough and seen enough of it."

Damning words

Might MacTavish be more restrained if asked about Nilsson when the team returns to the ice for practice Sunday? Possibly. But if MacTavish really has "had enough and seen enough of it," what does that mean? A stint in the press box. Another demotion to the fourth line? A ticket to Springfield?

Having met Nilsson at the 2003 Entry Draft, where the New York Islanders selected him 15th overall, and having watched his progress -- or lack of same -- with some interest because he's the son of former Oiler Kent (Magic Man) Nilsson and somebody I thought Edmonton might select, I'd suggest skipping the preliminary stuff and get to brass tacks.

If I was GM Steve Tambellini, I'd be looking to trade Robert Nilsson while he's still got a semblance of marketability -- albeit greatly diminished -- because of the flair and offensive talent he possesses and teases you with.

The problem is, Nilsson only puts that talent on display, and does it within the framework of a game plan, when he  feels like it. That doesn't happen nearly enough. That isn't good enough. At 23, Nilsson should know that, but apparently he hasn't figured it out yet.

Doesn’t get it

With 4-6-10 and a -8 rating through 27 games, Nilsson hasn't even been the least productive member of the now-dismantled Kid Line. That distinction falls to Sam Gagner, while Andrew Cogliano has easily been the best of the trio.

As much as he's struggled, though, Gagner is 19 and in his second season. Cogliano is 21 and also a sophomore. Nilsson turns 24 on January 10 and he's been demoted, chided and traded once already for disappearing for long stretches and being inconsistent.

Sitting Nilsson isn't the answer. Neither is cutting his minutes and putting him on the fourth line. What will more time in the press box accomplish?

Even before Nilsson's latest slacking, I talked about a need to weed out some of the Oilers small forwards and use one or two of their skilled little guys as bargaining chips.

It's as much about an overlap in skills as it is about lack of size, but I don't see room for Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp and Jordan Eberle in MacTavish's top-nine forwards over the next two or three seasons. Do you?

What’s next?

At this point, I'd rather see what Brule and Schremp can do and offer up Nilsson and whatever else it takes to land a veteran forward who can kill penalties and win face-offs or a shutdown defenceman. Given MacTavish's lament about the lack of a one-shot scorer after the Anaheim loss, maybe there's a team willing to part with one and gamble on Nilsson's upside as part of a package.

"We don't shoot the puck hard enough collectively," MacTavish said after his outfit made Jonas Hiller look like Georges Vezina.

"We can put ourselves in position to score but we need a lot of shots to score. With the exception of Sheldon (Souray), there aren't a lot of guys who are first-shot scorers. We need a lot of looks. That's been real obvious."

Whether it's a defensive forward, a triggerman with a nose for the net or a shutdown blueliner, I doubt I'd get much of an argument from MacTavish that Tambellini should pick up the phone and kick some tires.

It's time.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#1 Zamboni Driver
December 20 2008, 01:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

While I agree with the coach's opinion of the player wholeheartedly, being that brutal in the media is another in a litany of moronic moves by this idiot.

Chew the guy out behind closed doors, fire his Dad, whatever....but if you want to MOVE the guy (and they probably do, and definitely SHOULD)....then shut the hell up about it! "He got his bell rung." or "We just wanted to shake things up a little and unfortunately 'Roh-bert' drew the short straw'.

Now, what exactly are they going to get for the guy? [not that they could get much to begin with.]

Ridiculous.

Again.

Avatar
#2 max fisher
December 20 2008, 01:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

i loved this guy, marvelled at his offensive flair....but theres something about his game that just doesn't sit right. I don't know what we could get for him but your bang on with the too many of the same player assesment.

Avatar
#3 FS
December 20 2008, 02:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Mac-T is an idiot, I totally agree with Zamboni Driver.

Avatar
#4 me
December 20 2008, 02:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

You have hit the nail on the head.

He reminds me somewhat (not the style but the attitude) of Andrei Kovalenko. Great talent but you saw it every ten games or so.

Avatar
#5 chromance
December 20 2008, 02:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I think Mac-T needs to go! he doesnt know how to handle talent nor does he know how to handle goaltending. OH and by the way, he doesnt even know how to handle the lines switching them up every single game!! supposely this is the best oiler team Mac-T has coached? He certainly isnt showing that he's the best coach for this Oiler team.

Avatar
#6 Ender the Dragon
December 20 2008, 04:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I picked Nilsson as my goat at the beginning of the season. To see him wearing a different jersey next week would not surprise me in the least, and if we can get a bag of pucks for him, so much the better.

Avatar
#7 ramped up
December 20 2008, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Mac-t is doing no more than standing on the soap box and making it sound like Nilsson and every other oiler at some point or another is the reason he can't get this ship steered the right way. We've likely all had that boss that will blame anyone else than himself for lack of production either be through lack of management or the inability to motivate his workers. This is all it is, who's next...Pouliot,Grebs,the list goes on. I'm not saying that all would be solved but it can't hurt to have a different perspective for the players to look at...Sorry Craig you have to go!!

Avatar
#8 Fiveandagame
December 20 2008, 04:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I think the problem with Bobby is endemic on this Oiler team. Under achieving players is common place in that locker room outside of a few stand outs.

When and if Nilsson picks up his game he can dominate. There were many games this year where he seemed like the only guy going on his line. This about face of MacT's bumping him up to playing with Hemsky (on paper) to a public lambasting is odd.

I wonder if he's just using the "penner" tactic and publicly calling him out. It worked on Penner who is also 25 and was grossly under competing and who also would disappear for games at a time.

On the other side, I think Gagner and Cole worked well together on a line. Both of those players like to great their offense down low. I think both had a fantastic game last night.

But Nilsson is not the reason or solution to the Oilers current woes. The leadership in the dressing room and on that bench has to seriously be taken into question.

Avatar
#9 Jay
December 20 2008, 05:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Here's an idea. Let him play hockey. Let him play his game. Next to nobody finds success in MacT's system and I really don't care to watch another talented player leave here because they "can't play", "are "inconsistent", or aren't "competing". Just like Jarret Stoll, Petr Sykora, Joffrey Lupul, Jason Chimera, Matt Greene, ... The problem is behind the bench and upstairs. This team plays a system and style that is out of date with modern hockey, infact may never have had an era in hockey. They do everything to get one shot usually with no screen because they are all in the corner cycling, or the Oilers shooter tutor has a whole in it's middle and not at the corners? And weak shooting. Worse yet they do nothing to sustain pressure. No creativity here, with creative players? They never rush, they don't support the puck by design, and are passive by design. Or why does the 4th line get so much offensive zone faceoffs? And why can't MacT send a message to Huddy to get the best pairings out with the best two lines? Or he just doesn't know better. How do you become consistent when you're line is never consistent and your role is largely unidentified? How do you get consistent without being comfortable with your linemates?

Want to talk about non-competative or soft players? Look no further than Horcoff, Staios, or Pisani. Or players who handicap their team by their actions stupid or inept in Moreau or Staios. Again, the change needs to be behind the bench first. There's enough talent their to be a lot better than we are. That's the problem for MacT, too much talent again, he doesn't know how to use it or how to handle it.

Avatar
#10 ramped up
December 20 2008, 05:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Fiveandagame: The only problem I see with the "Penner tactic" is that in a short time the players will look at Craig and feel if they have a bad night or go on a scoreless drought for a few games they will get called out. The players have no control of the Mac-blender and if they can't get comfortable with who they are playing with then how can they get any chemistry...as for leadership, how would you like to be Moreau or Staios and look at a bunch of over payed rugrats and have to try and lead them forward...kids in their teens don't think like those in their 20's or 30's

Avatar
#11 ramped up
December 20 2008, 05:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Jay: Here,Here

Avatar
#12 Deno
December 20 2008, 05:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

While I don't necessarily disagree with MacT's assessement it seems as though he has lost all control of this hockey club. No one on the team really seems to compete on a consistent basis anymore, not just Nilson. Considering that this inconsistency is so prevalent I agree with many of the fellow sufferring Oiler fans in that MacT should be let go. Unfortunately it appears as though their is literally no accountability as it relates to our coaching staff and their decisions. Hence a change remains unlikely.

Avatar
#13 JRocks247
December 20 2008, 06:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I agree that one of the Hobbits needs to go. Send Cole, and whatever else is needed for Horton. Then trade BobbyNils and parts for a bonafide checking, hitting, faceoff winnning 3rd liner. PRESTO! We have size on the 2nd line and 2 faceoff winners in our top three lines with Brodziak (whos not bad either) manning the fourth.

Avatar
#14 Smokin' Ray
December 20 2008, 06:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Maybe Reasoner is coming back.

Avatar
#15 RobinB
December 20 2008, 07:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Smokin' Ray: And Jason Smith . . .

Avatar
#16 ramped up
December 20 2008, 07:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

and Jarret stoll,and Chris douchebag and,Spacek,and Samsonov,and basically the team that scattered when alomost everything went right!!

Avatar
#17 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
December 20 2008, 07:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

On and on it goes everone else is to blame but Mac T and Management,how much longer are we going to watch this bad movie? I am embaressed by Mac t how he throws these guys under the bus, how do you think the boys in the room feel? This coach has lost this team, the only reason they play is because they have pride in themselves not the moron behind the bench.lets all forget about signing any free agents if we continue to have Mac T as a coach do you think players want to come to a team where they are blasted in public.what goes on behind closed doors if this how he acts in public? A coachs job is to motivate,teach and be a leader this guy is none of the above 8 years is long enough,the sooner he leaves the better for the team,the fans and oilers nation!!!

Avatar
#18 ramped up
December 20 2008, 07:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I think you would find if you polled the nhl in confidence, few players would come here because of Mac-t. Especially now that the team is floundering and has played with very little heart

Avatar
#19 ramped up
December 20 2008, 07:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

K-lo and Tambellini PLEASE MAKE A MOVE SOON!! if nothing else send a message to the Nation that you are as serious as you say you are...WHERE ARE YOU DARYL KATZ!!!

Avatar
#20 topshelf
December 20 2008, 07:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

ramped up wrote:

as for leadership, how would you like to be Moreau or Staios and look at a bunch of over payed rugrats and have to try and lead them forward…kids in their teens don’t think like those in their 20’s or 30’s

So being slow (Staois) and taking bad penalties (Moreau) is what they do because they are mad at having to lead the young guys?

Avatar
#21 Smokin' Ray
December 20 2008, 08:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

The blame belongs to Kevin Lowe 50%. The other 50% of the blame belongs to Moreau, Horcoff and Staios. I don't blame MacT at all. It is not his fault his 3 leaders are not being leaders. If these people were 18 years old then I could see blaming MacT. But these people are not kids. In fact, they have kids of their own. They should take responsibility for their actions instead of trying to pass it on. Be a man and buck up. You three guys suck and you blame the coach. I just don't get it. I guess we need Bergeron back so we have a whipping boy around here.

Avatar
#22 Smokin' Ray
December 20 2008, 08:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Vote for Souray.

Avatar
#23 oilerdago
December 20 2008, 10:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Actually I think there's enough blame to go around to everyone. Lowe put together a team that has holes (can't win face offs hurts the pk), a lot youth (still) and that his coach has not yet adapted to (in terms of the type of game he's used to coaching).

MacT has stuggled with a team that is not like what he's used to (heart and soul) and he's hurt himself by skating guys off their natural positon (Cole). And is line juggling has left lot's scratching.

And I think Smokin Ray is right about the vet leaders - there job his to find a way to pull it together and instead this team goes out, gets hit in the mouth early and can't pull it together again until it's too late to win games.

They've got to change something, but it's anyone's guess as to what will happen. Hopefully, they don't way until the season is flushed before they finally make a move.

Avatar
#24 Andy the Oiler Fan
December 20 2008, 10:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This is just another perfect example of a coach not knowing how to deal with almost every situation that comes up. I agree with Zamboni driver. How many young players has Mac-T developed in his time here. Quite frankly Nilsson was behind the 8 ball before he even got here, his style of game just doesn't fit in with the MacTavish philosophy. Craig MacTavish couldn't nuture young talent if his life depended on it, all you have to do is look at his track record.

out

Avatar
#25 Clarkenstein
December 20 2008, 10:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This team has 5 veteran players. I would say Moreau, Staios, Horcoff, Souray and Roloson could arguably be called the leaders of the team. This could truly be the weakest leadership group in the history of the team. Shayne Corson might have been involved in a bad bunch but this group inspires nobody. Other players, fans, media and probably management are left with a feeling that there is nobody in the room that they could look at and feel that confidence that good leadership inspires. I could go thru each one of them on an individual basis but everyone knows the weaknesses each of them possesses. But, once again, this woeful group did not put themselves together. It has happened under the tutelage of one Mr. K. Lowe. And for the umpteenth time I suggest that: Kevin. Lowe. Must. Go.

Avatar
#26 Smokin' Ray
December 20 2008, 10:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

At least Souray and Roli have shown their worth. I see them being accountable. They admit when they suck. I don't see that from Horcoff, Moreau and Staios.

Can we impeach Lowe somehow?

Avatar
#27 RobinB
December 20 2008, 10:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Andy the Oiler Fan: Ales Hemsky? Shawn Horcoff? Matt Greene? Jarret Stoll?

Avatar
#28 RobinB
December 20 2008, 10:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:

"I am embaressed by Mac t how he throws these guys under the bus, how do you think the boys in the room feel? This coach has lost this team, the only reason they play is because they have pride in themselves not the moron behind the bench . . . "

Sorry, you don't know the first thing about the situation in the dressing room. How many times to you think the coaching staff went over the weakenesses in Dustin Penner's game with the player before anything was said in public? How many times do you think Nilsson has been told to pull his head out of his ass and show consistency and effort? Plenty of times on both counts, I assure you.

And MacT has not lost the room. How do you know that? I've talked to several players in the last week -- on and off the record -- about that very issue and I'm told that's not the case.

MacTavish is not without blame here, and there's a long checklist of moves he's made I don't understand, but blanket statements like yours don't hold up under scrutiny when you talk to players. And no, it's not a case of what else are they going to say? There are some very candid discussions off the record, and that's not the message I'm getting.

Avatar
#29 West Coast Oil
December 20 2008, 11:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Lets compare the Oilers to two teams we know well.

The Canucks - Many thought the Canucks would be struggling and hugging the bottom of the standings but they play and compete strong. The team is filled with a bunch of players who were considered underachievers on other teams and no names yet they win more than they lose. Why? This team was built by the gm to fit the strengths of the coaching staff. Players who would buy into the coaches system and perform to his needs.

The Blackhawks - Young fast team, lots of potential talent but needed proper nurturing to get it out. Management realised early that the man they had behind the bench was a good coach but not the best for the team they built so as soon as a great coach who fit their needs came available they grabbed him. The results speak for themselves as the Blackhawks have improved by leaps and bounds this year!

The Oilers - Polar opposite of each team above. Built a fast talented young team that does not fit the strengths of the existing coaching staff yet too thick to realise it and hire someone more suitable. Imagine people say MacT tries to put square pegs into round holes.. I think KLowe has done a pretty good job of trying that same approach!

Avatar
#30 RobinB
December 20 2008, 11:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:

Here's an example of what I'm hearing from players. These are excerpts of on the record stuff from a conversation Sheldon Souray had with Dan Barnes, Mark Spector and I on Friday.

ABOUT THE INCONSISTENCY "The frustrating part about a situation like this is you hear it and you know it, but you make the same mistakes -- whether it's the starts, the PK. When you keep doing those things, that's the frustrating part."

PREPARATION BY THE COACHING STAFF "The thing is, you can say things about coaching, but Mac does tell us. He gives us a plan every game. He says, 'Do this.' Once we don't do it, you come in after the second period or first period and it's 'I told you about this play. Did you think I was lying?' "

SO, IF THE PLAYERS ARE BEING TOLD, WHERE'S THE DISCONNECT? "That's a good question. If we could figure that out it would make a world of difference in where we're at, but . . ." "I don't think there's a doubt about the game plan. It's getting on the same page. We're trying to find it."

ARE THE PLAYERS DUMB? "Good question. When things are laid out for you . . . you can lead a horse to water, right?"

IS THIS A CASE LIKE IN TAMPA WHERE PLAYERS TUNED OUT BARRY MELROSE? HAS MACT LOST THE ROOM? "No. It's completely different. Honestly, he hasn't lost the room. It's a matter of more buy-in and more acountability. We talk about it, but guys, at the end of the day, have to produce. "I know how frustrated they get because we go and we watch the video and he shows us -- 'This is what I told you.' We watch the video and we're not doing it."

Avatar
#31 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
December 21 2008, 12:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ RobinB: I said he has lost this team, How many times do they have to come out flat? They have tuned him out,the decisions he makes with the lines changing them every couple of games,playing pouliot like he is the second coming of Gretzky, why he would let him shot on the shot out the other night is carzy! It should of been Cole shoting not Pouliot. It is decisions like this that piss off the players and the fans.blasting someone behind closed doors is fine, out in public is no ones business. give me one other example of a NHL coach doing this? The man is grasping at straws, It is time for a change you know it.The players know it and the fans know it.

Avatar
#32 RobinB
December 21 2008, 12:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99: Did you read anything Souray said or is your mind made up?

Roster and line-up decisions about Pouliot etc are fair game for criticism. Like I said, I question some (many) of the moves I've seen this season. But you're talking two different issues with strategy/line combinations and "losing the room."

And, by the way, if I "knew it," I'd write it.

Avatar
#33 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
December 21 2008, 12:21AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ RobinB: Robin Lets get serious, Which player would blast the coach on or off the record? Come on,that is commiting career suicide,Actions speak louder than words,to many players that where traded played under Mac T played poorly, Then went on to bigger and better things without him that says alot.

Avatar
#34 RobinB
December 21 2008, 09:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99: OK. Have it your way.

Avatar
#35 Smokin' Ray
December 21 2008, 09:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If I suck at work... Does my manager get fired?

Avatar
#36 RobinB
December 21 2008, 10:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Smokin' Ray: Good point (although it's one that people like oilersseasonticketholdersince99) aren't willing to entertain right now.

To be fair, if you suck at work and everybody else working under that manager sucks at work, then maybe it's time to look at the manager, too. That's the cry of the Fire MacTavish Contingent right now. It's not without merit.

That said, in the specific case of Nilsson, he's picked a bad time to revert to his inconsistent ways. When the team is in the tank like it is, nobody gets much rope. He picked a bad time to slack off. My point is that with the Oilers looking and needing to make a move to shake things up, Nilsson may have played himself right onto the trading block. It's timing as much as anything.

Avatar
#37 Smokin' Ray
December 21 2008, 10:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ RobinB

Couldn't agree more. People have been playing hot potato all year long. The music stopped and Nilsson was still holding it. uh oh!

Avatar
#38 Smokin' Ray
December 21 2008, 10:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ everyone

Carefull what you wish for. Want MacT gone? Who's his replacement? Torterella? Crawford? Nolan?

ROFL. How many of them WANT to come to Edmonton? I am willing to bet that it is an in house hiring then. Moores/Huddy/Bucky

Or they reach back into the vault and bring back Craig Simpson. Do you guys really want that?

Avatar
#39 ramped up
December 21 2008, 11:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Smokin' Ray: Unfortunatly you are right, the likelyhood of them hiring within is a strong possibility. Even if they go outside the box and bring in torterella, they can make him interim head coach,see how he does and decide to sign him long term in the summer. Right now he's my vote but like you said would he come??

Avatar
#40 Mr. Brightside
December 21 2008, 11:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Robin

Gregor made a comment on air the other day that he had heard rumblings that the leaders in the dressing room weren't doing their job. He didn't care to expand on the comment. Wondering Robin whether you had maybe been given the impression that there might be a division in the room? Seems to me the vets (Horcoff, Souray, Moreau, Staios) wanted to make it pretty clear early in the year that this was their team & the "kids" would be back to a supporting role.

Gregors comment has been bugging me ever since he made it. One thing the Oilers could always boast was a tight dressing room. Maybe the boys just aren't as willing to jump on a the grenade for one another as the were in the past?

Avatar
#41 TV
December 21 2008, 12:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

"Lets get serious, Which player would blast the coach on or off the record?"

To think this types of comments have not been made before is even more myopic than the rest of your replies to R.B. on this issue.

1 would hedge to guess he has just a tad more background to fall back on than you in this case..?

x6

Avatar
#42 Mr. Brightside
December 21 2008, 12:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ TV:

Just typical anit-MacT rhetoric from the band wagon jumping crowd. These are the same people who are actually dissapointed when the Oilers win because it is just "more rope" for the coach.

Avatar
#43 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
December 21 2008, 12:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ TV:

Name me one other player that has gone on record here or anywhere else and had negative things to say about there coach? look what they did to Ted Nolan when he blasted his GM in buffalo, what has Mac T done for this team with the exception of the cup run? If you are content with this team great! you are intitled to your opinion as am I,all I know is talking to the other season ticket holders and listing to the fans leaving the game, we have had enough of this, every year it is the same old storey!!!

Avatar
#44 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
December 21 2008, 12:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Mr. Brightside: If you look at my tag, Im not on or off the band wagon I have been going to the games since 1979. And became a season ticket holder in 1999 and been one ever since,I go to the games win or lose!!! maybe we should do a poll of the season ticket holders and oiler fans and see if they want Mac T in or out? There are more people who have had enough of him and want him gone,than want him to stay.

Avatar
#45 RobinB
December 21 2008, 12:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Mr. Brightside: Jason mentioned leadership in the dressing room after we had a conversation last week. We're both at the rink a fair amount and you hear snippets of things.

Whenever things are going badly, leadership and a "split in the room" are things you have to take a look at -- like the much-debated question about MacTavish "losing the room" and decisions about lines and personnel.

Obviously, it's not a happy room right now. And you have to wonder about how Dustin Penner and, now, Robert Nilsson feel about the coach.

As for leadership, it's got to be lacking to some degree -- isn't every aspect of a team when things are going this badly?

Avatar
#46 Fiveandagame
December 21 2008, 12:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ RobinB: It's good to hear the consensus among the players is that MacT hasn't lost the room. If you look at Mike Keenan it's not like the coach needs to be your friend, he's your coach. Just because he's saying things the players might not like doesn't mean they aren't listening.

There is just something funky about this team though. Their inability to put 60mins together is beyond me. And from statements from MacT it seems beyond him too, why this group isn't playing hard from the drop of the puck. MacT says it's the coaches job to have the players ready to play. They clearly aren't the majority of the time. Just as he's asking Eric Cole to change something about the way he gets ready for the game, I think MacT has to learn a new song to get these guys moving and playing for each other.

Something has to change, something has to give.

Avatar
#47 Mr. Brightside
December 21 2008, 12:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:

Why is it always okay to just discount the "cup run"? We talk about 8-years of mediocrity but if you want to be fair it has only been three years since the new CBA and the establishment of a level playing field. Mac T seems to be pretty honorable guy, who clearly wants what is best for the team, the players and the fans. I'd bet a lot of money that he will step down without being asked if the team misses the playoffs this year. He's been with this team for a lot of really crappy years when they simply couldn't afford to ice a competitve team. Doesn't anybody want to see him get rewarded for that perseverance now that we are a "have" market? I do. Not that the fans really have a say, but lets give the guy this year at least.... if they don't have success then I'm sure he'll step away, without having to endure the humiliation of being fired.

Avatar
#48 Mr. Brightside
December 21 2008, 12:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

@ Mr. Brightside: If you look at my tag, Im not on or off the band wagon I have been going to the games since 1979. And became a season ticket holder in 1999 and been one ever since,I go to the games win or lose!!! maybe we should do a poll of the season ticket holders and oiler fans and see if they want Mac T in or out? There are more people who have had enough of him and want him gone,than want him to stay.

Duly noted. "bandwagonjumper" accusation withdrawn. As you note from my tag I am the eternal optimist. I still think this is a good team, with a chance to win. I'm also a bit of a bleeding heart who doesn't like to see somebody skewered in the media.

Avatar
#49 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
December 21 2008, 12:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Mr. Brightside: I am not questioning his commitment all I am saying is that we keep going down this same road, year after year, It came from mangement and the coachs that this was the best team we have iced in years, yet the result is the same, something has to give we cannot fire all the players, Mac T is not the only one to blame but lets face it, He is getting frustrated, to blast two players in a month in public wether they deserve it or not is not acceptable.That is why i said he is losing the room, he is taking this out in public when it should be behind closed doors,If i am a player on this team I question when I am next for one of the coaches blasts. The players are sticking together on this, its not just penner and neilson that are pissed at the coach they also have teammates in the room that are on there side. didnt coach Pete Peters also blast the players this month at an optional skate? Does this sound like the players are listening to the coachs?

Avatar
#50 Mr. Brightside
December 21 2008, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:

Maybe they aren't listening. Doesn't mean that they would listen to anybody else though. Firing the coach is too easy in my opinion. It's just making him the scapegoat. (anybody else read Dilbert?...funny scapegoat thread the past couple of days....) I think RB has it right. Tweak the roster, out with the small, in with the big. NYI could use some help, maybe they would part with Trent Hunter?

Comments are closed for this article.