April 06 2014 07:19AM
After a long, disastrous season it's understandable to feel a need to lash out and point fingers. The problem? There are always some fingers pointing back at you.
In his famous Sunday article Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun tells us the prevailing wisdom in regard to Eakins future.
- Garrioch: The belief is the Oilers will stick with coach Dallas Eakins as he heads into the second year of his contract despite a disastrous rookie season.
I believe it's the right call. Why? First, Craig MacTavish hired Eakins to bring a culture change to the organization, and it appears (from what we know) this was a turbulent year for all concerned. I have no doubt learning occurred for both players and coach (witness Hall's improvement in shot differential of late, likely a result of relaxing the 'shoot and chase' approach to offense) during this year. Next season should be stronger because of the foundation built in 2013-14.
There has to be structure, and Eakins has struggled at times to institute the plan. That's on him, but there's also a lot of truth in the idea that you can't win the race with a plough horse. Edmonton's defense isn't good enough to turn north and I don't think Scotty Bowman could get this defensive group into the playoffs.
Progress was made, and the blueline seems to be coming into view.
Lots of chatter about improving the staff by hiring and firing assistants. I don't know much about that area of the game, but do know that the defense hummed when Charlie Huddy was an assistant coach here. If he comes available, I'd like to see him back in our town.