December 08 2013 07:41AM
The Edmonton Oilers won the battle last night, but once again lost the war. The shot differential said Edmonton was well clear of the Flames (52-33) but the final score told us Calgary won the day. The story of last night was execution, and at this point I'm in favor of it.
SHOT DIFFERENTIAL BEATDOWN
The Oilers had a field day last night based on even-strength shots for and against (my thanks to Michael Parkatti for the table above), hell the guy they benched went 12-0 in the discipline. The problem for Edmonton? They're a miserable team without the puck and increasingly they are not willing to do the hard work of getting it back.
I'm not a guy who talks about "physical presence" or "someone to get in your face" very much, because for the most part I do believe those things are overrated. However, this edition of the Edmonton Oilers needs someone to light a fire under their ass, the way Glen Sather did with the Boys on the Bus when they were pissing about instead of eating their vegetables. This team could use a whole lot less "Harlem Globetrotters" skill and a lot more lunchpail work ethic and attention to detail.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
There are two ways out of this:
- Impress upon these players that "fleeing the zone for offense" is treason, and that you're letting the team down.
- Trade one or two of these players for new ones in order to grab the group's attention.
I bet Craig MacTavish is edging closer to the second option. The Edmonton Oilers are going to finish last with Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Justin Schultz, they can sure as hell finish last without them.