THAT'S EMBARRASSING

Robin Brownlee
March 03 2013 10:13PM

Fans of the Edmonton Oilers have been kicked in the junk so often the past six seasons there's barely any leather left on that damn shoe, and they took yet another pop in the pills watching their team mail it in with a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center Sunday.

Even the most devout Edmonton booster knows the score flattered the Oilers, who needed a fluke goal by Sam Gagner just to keep things mildly interesting in a game in which Ralph Krueger's team didn't manage a single shot on goal in the second period. Not one. Zippo. Nada.

This feeble effort, one devoid of emotion and physical engagement with the Wild, was bad enough to get the attention of Krueger, who chewed out his team on the bench during a called time out. Krueger was clearly pissed off. Not nearly as much, I'm guessing, as fans weary of waiting for this team to start delivering on some of the promises management has been making.

Fans made that abundantly clear in the aftermath.

WHAT YOU SAID . . .

Here's a sampling of the comments directed my way on Twitter in the wake of a loss that dropped the Oilers to 8-9-4 on the season with five games left on a road trip that looks like it will end any hopes of a playoff push.

Mitch Dul‏@mitchdul @Robin_Brownlee at what point does management finally get shown the door...when Gretzky left the coyotes the team went forward.

Jeff Hendrick‏@jeffhendrick @Robin_Brownlee this #oilers club has more holes than Swiss cheese, and a terrible GM...4th straight top three pick awaits

Wendy Dwernychuk‏@WendyDwernychuk @Robin_Brownlee embarrassed once again

Dave Anderson‏@RantnRoller @Robin_Brownlee - players coach is fine. Being supportive is fine too. Some Oilers need to be called out after tonight's debacle

Wade Westworth‏@rumdum @Robin_Brownlee the Oilers were a much better team when the lockout was on! Need some heart. A little pride.

NOT EVEN CLOSE

I thought the Oilers might get nine of a possible 18 points from this trip, a total that would most certainly see them fall marginally farther out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They need six points from the last five games just to reach that. Some fans, bolstered by a loser point in Chicago and a rare win in Dallas to open the trip, were talking 12 or 13 points. Really.

That aside, what fans saw in the final period against the St. Louis Blues and for all three periods against the Wild was an Oiler team that took the easy way out at every opportunity. A team that didn’t physically or mentally compete or engage. A team that too often didn't bust its collective backside in an effort to get the job done. A team that didn’t play smart or with gusto.

After six years out of the playoffs choking back heaping helpings of rebuild pie, the very least fans deserve is an honest effort from the players on the ice. If the team isn't good enough – and it's becoming clear it's not – then that falls to GM Steve Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe.

Until then -- holes in the roster and limitations be damned -- fans have a right to expect that their team compete on every shift and show up for battles, even if they don't win them rather than turning the other cheek. Right now, all fans are getting is what looks like a collective shrug of the shoulders.

Not good enough. Not even close.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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.
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#101 Dennis
March 04 2013, 03:08PM
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@Oilfan

Or course it's possible. My point is that there were probably other possibilites as well. Too many nights these kids are going for the pretty plays. They need to simplfy. How many times have we seen the ole "no look drop pass" totally backfire? Too many for a lot of people's liking.

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#102 DSF
March 04 2013, 03:12PM
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Well, let's begin with the notion the Oilers are 4 points out...in fact, they are 5.

But that's not actually the problem.

The problem is that there are currently 6 teams between the Oilers and that playoff spot, many of whom have games in hand.

Then the issue is that these teams will be playing each other and many of the games between them will result in 3 points.

Here's how the odds of making the playoffs look today:

CHI - 99.99

ANA - 99.8

VCR - 88.4

SJS - 76.7

LAK - 75.3

PHX 57.2

MIN - 56.8

STL - 54.8

DET - 51.6

DAL - 44.4

NSH - 33.3

CAL - 24.6

COL - 20.4

EDM - 16.1

CLB - 0.7

Considering Anaheim plays Phoenix and Nashville plays Los Angeles tonight, things will look even worse tomorrow.

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#103 Walter Sobchak
March 04 2013, 03:24PM
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common sense wrote:

How about some calm, sensible trades and acquisitions done on a proactive basis to fill the obvious holes and needs on this team. How about shipping Tambo back to the Nucks.

I like it!

I don't mind sound trades, a Glencross or something of that ilk,but if we're trading the future to fix another hole in the lineup all the Oilers will have done is shuffled he chairs.

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#104 fan
March 04 2013, 07:06PM
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Oilers need way more than an "Oil Change". Time for a full out tune-up.

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#105 slats
March 04 2013, 08:55PM
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You really want to win?

Go get Katz and back up the truck with $6MM (3 for each) and go get Mike Babcock and/or Dan Bylsma + add Ken Holland.

Change would be a-happening.

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#106 Kevin
March 04 2013, 09:23PM
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Good read Robin- you are bang on the fans are tired of this thing called hope and promise we have been preached. Its been a whole lot of false hope and far to much BS. We have gone through coaches and players but the real cancer here is upper management. The true die hard oil fans need you to keep telling it like it is and hopefully someone will see the light and sooner than later, I for one is getting sick and tired of watching this franchise die a slow and painful death.

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#107 Kevin
March 04 2013, 09:34PM
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DSF wrote:

LOL.

10 years out of the playoffs.

A chimp could do better.

lol- yes for sure maggie the monkey could have made the draft picks in the last 3 years. Its rounds 2 through six that matter. Take a look at our farm team. Wheres the depth ? We have been talking about the same deficiencies for years now and it's the same old storey here. The finger has to be pointed and Klowe and Tambo for this train wreck !

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#108 DSF
March 04 2013, 10:43PM
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Kevin wrote:

lol- yes for sure maggie the monkey could have made the draft picks in the last 3 years. Its rounds 2 through six that matter. Take a look at our farm team. Wheres the depth ? We have been talking about the same deficiencies for years now and it's the same old storey here. The finger has to be pointed and Klowe and Tambo for this train wreck !

Lowe.

Yes it is you Kevin.

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#109 DSF
March 04 2013, 10:43PM
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slats wrote:

You really want to win?

Go get Katz and back up the truck with $6MM (3 for each) and go get Mike Babcock and/or Dan Bylsma + add Ken Holland.

Change would be a-happening.

This.

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#110 Mctada
March 06 2013, 03:46PM
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Hey Guys

Does everyone remember last year when everyone was screaming to play the kids more and Renney was saying hold on, hold on, let them in slowly, well Renny is gone and the kids are playing more and all their warts are starting to show..Nuge is 19 yrs old and the playing againts the top line every day and his cute WHL moves are not working.. Not one of these kids are going to the net anymore since Eberle was helicoptered by Jack Johnson a few games back....thoughts???

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#111 Zab
March 12 2013, 09:00PM
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Dubnyk needs to stay off his knees and stop sucking. Trade him already!!

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