Fire Craig MacTavish

Jonathan Willis
February 02 2009 05:30PM

Craig MacTavish: you're fired

I’ve been a fan of Craig MacTavish for a long time. I defended him last season, and I defended him at the start of this season. He’s a smart guy, and has done a good job getting unheralded players to perform beyond what one would reasonably expect to be their level of ability. People look back at the early days of Lowe/MacTavish and say “mediocrity”, but maybe they don’t remember the budget this team was run on pre-lockout; there was a certain joy to watching players like Smyth, Smith, Marchant, Grier, Niinimaa, etc. put their nose to the grindstone and grit out a playoff spot while team with a higher payroll and greater individual talent swung and missed. Then there was the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals run, and great things seemed to be in the making.

The two seasons following the Cup Run weren’t great. The team was brutally unbalanced entering 2006-07, and Kevin Lowe seemed determined to undo every good decision he made the previous year. The defensive corps was dismantled, and entered the year with a top three of Daniel Tjarnqvist, Jason Smith, and Steve Staios. It was so bad at one point that Danny Syvret, Bryan Young, and Sebastien Bisaillon were all on the active roster. I gave MacTavish a pass that year, as the team had been so obviously mismanaged that expecting a playoff spot was folly.

2007-08 was a great building year; the team rode Mathieu Garon’s stellar play (especially in the shootout) and dressed a truckload of rookies, most of who impressed. They missed the playoffs by a hair, but seemed to be clearly a team on the rise, and MacTavish probably deserved some credit for it.

Enter 2008-09. Kevin Lowe, despite an apparent aversion to having more than one veteran centre on the team, had an excellent summer before being promoted. The Oilers had a young group of forwards, but that was balanced somewhat by an excellent top-four on the back end, and a legitimate tandem in Garon and Roloson. It wasn’t a perfect roster, but it was a vast improvement over what Craig MacTavish had been given in previous seasons.

Unfortunately, Craig MacTavish has been coaching like a man unhinged for much of the season. For example:

1. Ladislav Smid: Left Wing

So, when developing a 22-year old defenceman with 132 NHL games who is finally starting to emerge after looking like he was in over his head for the past two seasons, what’s the best place to use said defenceman? On left wing, of course! Or in the press box -- because those are the two places where promising defencemen blossom.

2. Fernando Pisani: Centre

Looking down the roster, I see five natural centres (Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, Pouliot and Brodziak). Only one of them is a veteran, and my preferred choice for third-line centre (a good one choice: Marty Reasoner) was dealt away by the GM. Still, I have a) a speedster with some size issues b) a former first-round pick who’s shown well defensively in parts of two previous seasons and c) a face-off ace and regular penalty-killer to chose from. My solution? Convert Fernando Pisani, a stalwart defensive presence to centre, moving two centres to the wing and dropping Brodziak to the fourth line. Of course, Pisani can’t win a face-off, and struggles against tough opposition, so I respond by leaving the line together, and playing them against lesser players, until Pisani’s injured.

3. Dustin Penner: Fat and Lazy

I have a player who was my second-best power-play point producer (behind only Ales Hemsky) and best power-play goal scorer last season returning again. Logically, it makes sense to bump him to the second unit, because I have another player coming in (Cole) who is a) historically a poor power-play option and b) playing out of his normal position to replace him. Makes good sense, right? And since this guy has only once played tough minutes (last season, with Horcoff and Hemsky), it makes sense to toss him on his off-wing with Pisani as his centre and run him against tough opposition.

In any case, he responds by posting great scoring numbers for his icetime (2.00 PTS/60, behind only to Ales Hemsky) and one of the best +/- numbers on the club. That needs to stop, so I call him out not once but twice in the media as being lazy/inconsistent/etc. Then I healthy scratch him for a couple of games, to be sure he got the message.

4. Staios and Strudwick: It’s like having Stevens and Langway on the same pairing

Since I’ve decided that both the team and Ladislav Smid are best served by him playing LW on the fourth line, or serving as the number seven defenceman, my default third pairing is Staios and Strudwick. I make it easy for them -- lots of minutes against softer opposition and lots of offensive zone draws (despite the fact that I have four offensive defencemen who could make use of those draws to, you know, score), yet they’re still getting out-shot by an awful amount. I decide that the best course of action is to praise the pairing in the media.

5. Kyle Brodziak: who needs linemates to succeed anyway?

After my centre juggling earlier, I needed to find somewhere to use Kyle Brodziak. Brodziak was great last year, catching fire along with Stortini and some guy who wasn’t quite good enough to be brought back in the summer. I decide to use him with a rotation of Moreau, Stortini, MacIntyre and Jason Strudwick. As an added bonus, I think he can probably handle starting in his own end for every single shift (Brodziak has 205 defensive zone faceoffs and only 91 offensive zone faceoffs, for a difference of 114. The next closest Oiler is Horcoff, who has 66 more defensive than offensive zone draws).

Sadly, Brodziak can’t seem to handle even this dream scenario, in a contract year no less. I decide that the solution is to call him out in the media and healthy scratch him as well.

The Final Straw

There are other things that stand out: the love for Liam Reddox, the complete lack of tolerance for any error by Mathieu Garon, using three defencemen on the same power-play unit, running other players out of position, icing a miserable penalty kill and a mediocre power-play, but I only have so much time. Besides, it’s all secondary to the cardinal sin that MacTavish committed today.

Days after a 10-2 loss (with no bag skate) and in the same season as a 9-2 loss (with no bag skate), Craig MacTavish decided today following a listless 2-1 loss to Nashville to bag skate the Edmonton Oilers.

He didn’t decide to bag skate the whole team, though. Instead, he ran practice, and then picked out his favourite whipping boys -- Dustin Penner, Kyle Brodziak, and Marc Pouliot -- and bag skated the three of them by themselves.

I’m a numbers guy, so I have a certain level of skepticism when somebody floats the chemistry/momentum/gut-check card by me. But the idea of picking out three players who have already been harped on all season, and skating them alone when they were far from the only culprits in this lukewarm season, or even in that last loss, is so repugnant to me that I can’t even fathom what made him do it.

You win as a team, you lose as a team, and if need be you bag skate as a team. Craig MacTavish should know better.

It’s time for a new coach.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#51 Ender the Dragon
February 02 2009, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer:

OK, Jack, so who's your answer to step in tomorrow and take us to the promised land? I hear Hartsburg's available . . . how loud will you cheer when we announce that name at a press conference tomorrow?

Avatar
#52 Traktor
February 02 2009, 09:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Brownlee: maybe I made a mistake insinuating that you never have anything critical to write towards MacTavish - if you're one of the good guys then I apologize.

I think the media as a whole in Edmonton is a complete joke and maybe I unfairly grouped you with the others.

All I really have at my disposal is the pre and post game scrums and it's always the same softball questions thrown at MacTavish. If MacTavish coached in any other city he would have been fired years ago and you and I and everyone else knows this.

To be honest I don't follow you enough to know one way or the other how you feel about certain situations so when I come to O.N and see how you've taking the easy route of throwing Penner under the bus obviously I'm going to feel you're just another MacTavish lackey.

Like I said before, it's not what you say, it's when you say it, and as a fan I find it extremely disappointing that not one reporter stood up when it mattered the most.

It's so easy to say Penner has been crap this year but if you look hard enough you'll find that he's having a positive impact on the team rather than the scapegoating MacTavish and the media portray him to be.

He has the best GFON/60 on the team.

He has the 2nd best Points per 60 on the team.

Not that anything from behindthenet should be taken as gospel but he clearly isn't as bad as the coach indicates and it's disappointing that the media chooses to take the easy route and jump on the flavor of the week.

Avatar
#53 Jonathan Willis
February 02 2009, 09:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ RobinB:

Fair enough, Robin - I was going by TSN's story, where yours made it sound like less of a big deal. If it wasn't a bag skate, but something as simple as extra practice, then it isn't as big a deal.

On the other hand, calling out Penner yet again would seem to be an act of desparation, and letting MacTavish publicly complain about the lack of a LW makes me wonder if he's getting a little too much latitude from the GM.

As for Brodziak, he was HS'd along with Penner and then singled out again today, so I'd assumed that he was one of the targets as well.

I don't claim to know what's going on in the room; I do wonder why MacTavish has been so brutal in his public comments toward certain players (Penner in particular, though there are others) and I'm increasingly inclined to think that he's getting desperate. Is that accurate?

Avatar
#54 fjislander
February 02 2009, 09:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I could not agree more

Avatar
#55 RobinB
February 02 2009, 09:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jonathan Willis: His comments sound like a man at the end of his rope. In my opinion, MacTavish is running out of cards to play to motivate this group of players. You can only crack the whip and play the call-out card so often. I think MacTavish overestimated the strength of this team in pre-season and set himself up for failure by speaking so boldly about a NW Division title, etc. Now, he's scrambling.

Avatar
#56 Dropping Deuces
February 02 2009, 09:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I hate to say it because I have firmly been on the Fire MacT Bandwagon since 03' but if they make the playoffs I think he is one guy I want coaching. He is finished pissing around with the line up and sticking his boy toys in roles they don't fit and just coaches to win. If we could only get him to figure out how to coach games 0-60.

Avatar
#57 Wanye Gretz
February 02 2009, 09:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWEE

Wow Willis.

Pokie Reddik wrote:

@ Ender the Dragon: Sorry I meant Jon, I was thinking of wayne though.

That's what she said

Avatar
#58 rindog
February 02 2009, 10:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ RobinB:

Question for you???

If a coach sets goals at the beginning of the season and doesn't reach those goals is it considered a failure?

And let's say that the goal wasn't to contend for the division title - but to just make the playoffs instead?

Does it matter at all how we reach (or don't reach)those goals?

Would any coach be satisified one bit with the way our team as performed this season (regardless of where we sit in the standings)?

Or is having 1 more point than 7 other teams after 82 games the bottom line?

I am far less concerned with where we finish in the standings and am much more concerned with the overall picture?

Maybe I am the one being naive???

I have this funny feeling that organization believes that if we can sneak into the 8th spot again, we will automatically have another Cinderalla run? I also get the same kind of feeling when I hear the comments about how the Oilers always put a late season push together (like it is a fore gone conclusion)??

Is the organization not at all concerned with they way the team is actually developing (longer term)?

Avatar
#59 David S
February 02 2009, 10:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

RobinB wrote:

I think MacTavish overestimated the strength of this team in pre-season and set himself up for failure by speaking so boldly about a NW Division title, etc. Now, he’s scrambling.

Exactly. The only thing he's really guilty of is some pre-season over-enthusiasm. And to be honest, after last spring's run I bet most of us were in the same boat. But if you look at the points squandered from games we've poofed this year, those points would have us pretty much with Calgary - so MacT's premonition wasn't very far off the mark. If you think you're frustrated with the inconsistency of this team, imagine how the guy running it must feel. Mrs. MacT must be a wreck right about now.

We're in the hunt. Let's wait until the end of the season before we bring in the lynching squad shall we?. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see MacT step down if we didn't make the show.

Avatar
#60 Greatgazoo
February 02 2009, 10:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I suppose that Gagner's sophomore jinx is all MacT's fault too right?

Funny that the blogger didn't point out that Smid's play improved after the trial at LW.

He also claims that Cole was a historically poor power play performer when coming into this season, 25% of Cole's career goals were on the PP and was coming off a season of a career high 10 PP goals.

Nice try Jonathan. Maybe someday you'll have a legitimate point.

Avatar
#61 rindog
February 02 2009, 10:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ David S:

Why shouldn't we expect similar results to last year's conclusion?

If the decisons MacT made down the stretch were the reasons why we did so well at the end of last year, shouldn't we be doing the same or better?

Lowe went and made a great 5 for 5 trade. He traded:

Pitkanen for Visnovsky Greene for Souray Stoll for Horcoff Glencross for Cole Reasoner for Moreau

Why wouldn't he be overly enthusiastic?

Unless maybe it wasn't his great coaching schemes that contribruted to the good run at the end of the year and it had more to do with players overachieving (cough, cough.........cup run '06)

Avatar
#62 Jonathan Willis
February 02 2009, 10:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Greatgazoo wrote:

He also claims that Cole was a historically poor power play performer when coming into this season, 25% of Cole’s career goals were on the PP and was coming off a season of a career high 10 PP goals.

All numbers from 2007-08.

Goals/60 minutes of powerplay time:

Penner: 2.44 Cole: 2.30

Points/60 minutes of powerplay time:

Penner: 4.07 Cole: 3.13

Hurricanes PP%: 18.81 Oilers PP%: 16.57

In other words, Penner scored more goals, and more points, on a worse powerplay. Any questions?

Avatar
#63 Jonathan Willis
February 02 2009, 10:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Greatgazoo wrote:

Funny that the blogger didn’t point out that Smid’s play improved after the trial at LW.

What, you mean when the coach played him as a top-six defenseman?

Who would have thought that a defenseman's play would improve when he's used as a top-six defenseman? Baffling!

Avatar
#64 Pokie Reddik
February 02 2009, 11:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ RobinB: Fair enough, Robin - I was going by TSN’s story, where yours made it sound like less of a big deal. If it wasn’t a bag skate, but something as simple as extra practice, then it isn’t as big a deal. On the other hand, calling out Penner yet again would seem to be an act of desparation, and letting MacTavish publicly complain about the lack of a LW makes me wonder if he’s getting a little too much latitude from the GM. As for Brodziak, he was HS’d along with Penner and then singled out again today, so I’d assumed that he was one of the targets as well. I don’t claim to know what’s going on in the room; I do wonder why MacTavish has been so brutal in his public comments toward certain players (Penner in particular, though there are others) and I’m increasingly inclined to think that he’s getting desperate. Is that accurate?

Even Dan Tencer and Fred Stauffer said this Robin, And those three were also not aloud to talk to the media and you don't think this was a bag skate

Avatar
#65 humantorch
February 03 2009, 01:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer wrote:

I dont see how anybody can make the arguement that MacTavish should still be coaching this team.

These are the same people that take Dan Tencer as gospel truth.

Avatar
#66 kingsblade
February 03 2009, 01:11AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Some people seem to think that a coaching change should only be made if it is going to guarantee the playoffs, but why does it have to be that way?

In my mind MacTavish is making the mistakes he has made because of pride and nothing more. When he makes a decision and it doesn't work he tries to make it work rather than admit it was wrong. A coach cannot make stubborn decisions with no more basis than pride and a snidely arrogant attitude towards anyone who questions him.

If he is losing the ears of the players than he has to go. Period. If the team tanks afterward and finishes last, at least the players will know that the organization will do whats best for the team.

People are saying things like "who do we hire to get us to the playoffs," but I say we need to get rid of the coach who has begun making decisions out of spite, and has apparently become a bit of a poison to some, if not many, of the players. At this point who cares who they get, as long as they have even the slightest thread of common sense.

Avatar
#67 Antony Ta
February 03 2009, 01:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Best blog article written this season.

Avatar
#68 P
February 03 2009, 01:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I lost faith last year when Coach said he hoped Cogliano could one day turn into a player like Todd Marchant.

Marty Reasoner = Joe Sakic without the foot speed; Andrew Cogliano = Todd Marchant, but not as tall.

Really?

If that's the case, lets all cross our fingers and hope that JDD learns how to channel his inner Mikhail Shtalenkov. Or maybe we can groom Smid into Ales Pisa redux.

Avatar
#69 Deep Oil
February 03 2009, 06:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

I was a Fan Of MacT: the player. As an aging grider, and Captain of a brutal Oiler Squad; I watched him live, in the Saddeldome score a hat-trick. I, along with Willis, backed MacT until this season. It is terribly depressing to watch this proud, intelligent, Oiler icon descend into madness… Even a casual observer of this team can see how poorly MacT is managing his assets this season.

Take out the word MacT and add Lowe - still makes sense.

Avatar
#70 Deep Oil
February 03 2009, 06:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

except for the hat-trick - of course

Avatar
#71 Deep Oil
February 03 2009, 06:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ender the Dragon wrote:

@ Jack “slacking off at work” Bauer: OK, Jack, so who’s your answer to step in tomorrow and take us to the promised land? I hear Hartsburg’s available . . . how loud will you cheer when we announce that name at a press conference tomorrow?

humantorch wrote:

Jack “slacking off at work” Bauer wrote: I dont see how anybody can make the arguement that MacTavish should still be coaching this team. These are the same people that take Dan Tencer as gospel truth.

Remember Allan Watt gives Dan T crib notes every afternoon

Avatar
#72 Deep Oil
February 03 2009, 06:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

I agree 100%, But it will never happen Mac T and K lowe are best friends and I think the only reason Mr Katz bought this team is so that he can hang out with the oilers from the past and chum with the team.We are turning into the Toronto Maple Leafs organization ( The late Harold ballard era) and we dont even realize it.When will someone, anyone get some balls and do something!!! I know one thing, my days as a Oilers season seat holder are coming to an end, I am tired of the Oilers propaganda machine working full time and feeding us fans with bull s_it!!

D Katz - said nothing since pressor - code of silence bought team for branding and cash flow reasons bonus - he is an oilers fan and loves the boys on the bus

B Katz - liason to McKesson Drugs - loan LaForge - riding the past years of the boom - sold out Watt - controlling - favorite book 1984 Nicholls - payment to be Katz spokesperson - mercenary

Lowe - spends - overpays and handcuffs cap - hides

Tambellini - prop - Scott Howson replacement

MacT - misuses players - poor callups (Lowe?) groundhog day with media and verbose players are bored with same old same old

Team - 0.500 non playoff result

Arena Music - reason the oilers are never prepared

Fans - divided over this keystone cops movie

Result - futility

Correction - Lowe will find it difficult to fire his friend - very cozy boys on the bus.... maybe move him into another role and consider Tortorella - when he speaks on television, I listen to him - he is stong and commands respect - something this team needs today and tommorrow.

Oiler fans are used to golf in April - so why is everyone upset.

Avatar
#73 Clarkenstein
February 03 2009, 07:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I used to ride the "Fire MacT" bandwagon and while I've not come back 180 degrees I am back to at least 90 deg. This is not "his" team, it is Kevin Lowe's. He is the one and only person that is responsible for this .500 hockey team...ie. mediocrity, year after year. I've almost come to the realization that maybe MacT is perhaps a good coach after taking this pile of chicken shit and trying to make chicken salad out of it. When you have one and only one player in your entire system that is "untouchable" that falls on the shoulders of the GM or whatever he calls himself these days. He's had enough time... it's more obvious than ever... he can't do the job!!

Avatar
#74 Dennis Castro
February 03 2009, 08:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Mac T, well to steal the words of Kevin Lowe "He's a Moron" and the sad thing is that Kevin Lowe backs him.

Avatar
#75 Ender the Dragon
February 03 2009, 08:57AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Deep Oil:

Tortorella, huh? Just for fun, let's ask some Tampa Bay fans what they had to say to their dearly departed coach. Here's a sampling of some real comments:

by gus Sep 10, 2008 08:12 AM Good riddance Torts! If you didn't get your way, you threw tantrums. Nice way to treat Artie. Your all offense and no attention to defense caused your problems. Your defense never gave your goalies a chance (Kuba and Boyle) Great plus/minus!!!!!!! by Bob Sep 06, 2008 06:30 AM Let's face it...Torts was, and is, a poor coach. No offers have come his way. Now he is showing that he is also a poor sport by taking verbal shots while knowing full well that no one in Lightning management will respond...nor should they. by rich Sep 06, 2008 04:20 AM It's a surprise that he got fired? How can you finish with the worst record in hockey with the talent that team had. He had no choice but to point your finger at Tort's. From the day your hired it's only a matter of time until your fired. by Graham Sep 06, 2008 03:04 AM Kuba is a 35-40 point guy. Here's where Torts shows exactly what did him in. That's fine, except, HE'S A BLUELINER!!!! I don't care about scoring. I care about stopping. Again, he misses the mark. by Coach Bill Sep 06, 2008 03:03 AM . . . Torts was a frustrated angry coach. He constantly dissed his players in the press. It must have been a nightmare playing for him. These "stars" are really young men and need to be encouraged, not humiliated. by Matt Sep 06, 2008 03:01 AM He only wanted to continue here to spite the players. He's a liar and more than half the players wanted him gone. He was pissed when he said he wanted to leave and no one begged him to stay so, he changed his mind. Move on... by Denny Sep 05, 2008 09:47 AM It's comicle hearing Torts talking about players getting run out of town. He ran out a few including his key to the cup- Andrechuk. by Joe Sep 05, 2008 09:47 AM WOW...What a bitter idiot...the team won the cup despite his brutal coaching...the owners get zero respect? You mean just like the players got from you? CLOWN. Wear some floppy shoes and red nose on TV. FOOL.

Sounds like a step in the right direction to me . . .

Avatar
#76 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
February 03 2009, 11:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Ender the Dragon:

Without knowing the availability of all the NHL assistant/head coaches, or whose available in the AHL it would be hard to make that decision.

But I do know this joke of a coach has produced pathetic results for 7 of his 8 years here. Weve only made the playoffs 3 times under his tenure here. What part of this lack of success do you find endearing? So what about Mactavish makes you think he SHOULD be coach of this team?

Avatar
#77 lego
February 03 2009, 11:32AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

These guys bore me. I never ever slept through games played by the terrible teams of the mid 90’s…

This above all else is why MacT should be fired! Does anyone else remember Oiler's Hockey? It was a hard forcheck, quick transition game, that even with the crap teams of the 90's still gave the opposition fits. Edmonton used to be a hard team to play against now they are a bunch of patsies.

MacT has systematically dismanteled Oiler's Hockey, we don't forcheck anymore, we have no transition game and we don't activate the defense except on the powerplay. He has modelled this team after the Minnesota Mild, and its very BORING hockey to watch!

I'd rather we would lose games 8-6 than the snoozefest 2-1 losses we are seeing now.

He has made Oiler's hockey boring hockey and for this above all else he should be fired!

Avatar
#78 Colin
February 03 2009, 12:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

lego wrote:

Chris wrote: These guys bore me. I never ever slept through games played by the terrible teams of the mid 90’s… This above all else is why MacT should be fired! Does anyone else remember Oiler’s Hockey? It was a hard forcheck, quick transition game, that even with the crap teams of the 90’s still gave the opposition fits. Edmonton used to be a hard team to play against now they are a bunch of patsies. MacT has systematically dismanteled Oiler’s Hockey, we don’t forcheck anymore, we have no transition game and we don’t activate the defense except on the powerplay. He has modelled this team after the Minnesota Mild, and its very BORING hockey to watch! I’d rather we would lose games 8-6 than the snoozefest 2-1 losses we are seeing now. He has made Oiler’s hockey boring hockey and for this above all else he should be fired!

You win the internet.

Above all of MacTs other failings, this would be his cardinal sin.

Avatar
#79 Deno
February 03 2009, 12:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ultimately it boils down to the fact that the Oilers, in spite of an above average roster, continue to play wildly inconsistent hockey, and once again find themselves in a playoff dog fight with teams of noticably less talent IE Minesota, Nashville, etc.

Consequently MacT MUST go.

Avatar
#80 Jonathan Willis
February 03 2009, 04:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ender:

I'm going to get into who I like as new coaching candidates at some point here. Tortorella isn't high on the list (although some of those fan comments seem a little out to lunch) based on my limited impression of him.

I like Ted Nolan, no matter how many GM's he destroys, but I've got other guys in mind too.

Avatar
#81 gretzky2kurri
February 03 2009, 04:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

kingsblade wrote:

In my mind MacTavish is making the mistakes he has made because of pride and nothing more. When he makes a decision and it doesn’t work he tries to make it work rather than admit it was wrong. A coach cannot make stubborn decisions with no more basis than pride and a snidely arrogant attitude towards anyone who questions him. .

His stubborness goes back to even the Mike York era. Persistantly using him on the point for the powerplay. York couldn't hold the line to save his life.......but MacT kept putting him there. Because it worked....once.

York breaks his wrist. 2 days later MacTavish had him on the point for the powerplay again. TWO DAYS! Dallas was pretty sure there was no boomer coming from the point. York was rendered useless in that game.

How STUBBORN is that? Better yet. How embarrassing is that?

Avatar
#82 gretzky2kurri
February 03 2009, 04:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Ender: I like Ted Nolan, no matter how many GM’s he destroys, but I’ve got other guys in mind too.

Well I am certainly not a Nolan backer at all.

But I certainly wouldn't mind seeing our own GM destroyed.....

Avatar
#83 Boiling Oiler
February 04 2009, 01:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

People! people! I am a lot of miles away from Edmonton in the scalding wastes of Oz but somehow seem to be the only one who gets it. Come closer and let me explain. The most basic psychology says publicly berating people doesn't make them work harder, faster, stronger or longer. This kind of browbeating lowers the bar and makes it easier for them to fail. Not once in any mediaspiel have we heard MacTool say "this player has our full support in finding his game again" or "we will work as a team to put this right". Okay, so Penner didn't settle in as fast as we would like. Nowhere near as fast but that can of woop ass was opened and tipped over him pretty quick like. Nilsson can be a touch ethereal. Or just float. And some others like to wander off for a nap midway through their shift, if they show up at all. Wouldn't it be great if there was someone on the team, like some kind of player-developer-direction-giving-figure, let's call him a 'coach' who could help address these shortcomings as a team rather than name and shame in a not very veiled attempt to offload his own responsibility?

Answer me this ... if a bully kicks you in the junk and takes your lunch money does it make you love him? How about when he gives you a wedgie in front of the whole playground? And MacThug wonders why he can't motivate anyone to play with any kind of consistency. But that's okay, if you have a bunch of unmotivated, tuned-out players you can always make them play better by, hmmmm, let's see... randomly firing up the line blender and unsettling them a little more......

Why is it that crappy players suddenly get better (admittedly to varying degrees)outside MacTwit's humilition radius (Lupul, anyone?) and good players crap out as soon as they fall under his sway (whatever happened to that Schremp kid anyway? He's gonna make some coach look real smart one day...)

In conclusion, jump on the Jeanshorts and BaggedMilk bandwagon with me and let's FIRE MAC T!

Avatar
#84 Todd
February 04 2009, 10:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Great post, well thought out, hopefully someday management will feel the same way

Avatar
#85 mike
February 26 2009, 11:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ lego: This above all else is why MacT should be fired! Does anyone else remember Oiler’s Hockey? It was a hard forcheck, quick transition game, that even with the crap teams of the 90’s still gave the opposition fits. Edmonton used to be a hard team to play against now they are a bunch of patsies.

MacT has systematically dismanteled Oiler’s Hockey, we don’t forcheck anymore, we have no transition game and we don’t activate the defense except on the powerplay. He has modelled this team after the Minnesota Mild, and its very BORING hockey to watch!

I’d rather we would lose games 8-6 than the snoozefest 2-1 losses we are seeing now.

He has made Oiler’s hockey boring hockey and for this above all else he should be fired.

there should be a penalty for playing the trap because this is what the oilers play. some ppl butter it up calling it "aggressive forcheck". this kind of hockey is soo boring, thats why you can hear more snoring in the crowd than actual cheering. i have yet to dislike a coach up until these last couple years. FIRE MACT! nuff said

Comments are closed for this article.