March 14 2014 09:00PM
This is the bookend article to "MacT's Best Moves" which moved earlier in the week. Despite an overhaul in most areas, the results are the same for these Edmonton Oilers. A summer in the lottery is unacceptable and yet here we are. Which move was the worst?
DALLAS, DALLAS HE'S OUR MAN!
Hiring Dallas Eakins looked like a good idea at the time. The young Oilers would get a young coach dedicated to structure and discipline. The Ralph Krueger love-in was replaced by accountability and rigorous conditioning. And yet, we are one year in and hearing about practices being more intense in other markets, were are watching what has to be the worst power play in the history of organized anything, and the absolute downturn in the careers of a few sublime hockey talents.
Who on earth would do that to themselves on purpose?
"IF YOU HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION"
Devan Dubnyk worked himself into a starting role with the Edmonton Oilers and cashed in under the Tambellini regime. New GM Craig MacTavish said last spring "Devan, the verdict is out on Devan. I've always believed that when you're assessing goaltenders, if you have to ask the question you know the answer."
MacTavish hired Jason LaBarbera to back him up and it became a major story in the Oilers freefall into the second division.
SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT!
As chronicled by Jason Strudwick earlier today at ON, the Oilers appear to be having team issues. If Struds article is true, then the Oilers are in more hell than a little bit. I have no way of knowing, and won't presume to know, but Strudwick was part of that group not so long ago.
The bottom line here is that Edmonton has not improved defensively this season. At the starting gate, the club had Ference, Smid and Nick Schultz as the veterans, and will end the season with only Ference and a group of kids plus fringe players. Tonight, Edmonton's defense was horribly inexperienced and bleeding chances is a nightly scene. This is not acceptable.
WHAT WAS THAT?
Which is it? Goalie? The defense? The coach? The lack of support? The Edmonton Oilers have a plethora of candidates during the last year.