Tom Renney has seen some horrendous performances this season, and he has remained rather calm throughout the first 19 games, but tonight’s performance in Phoenix finally pushed him over the edge. I’m amazed his patience lasted this long.

After their second 5-0 loss in their past four games, Renney finally publicly berated them. I’d love to know what he said to them behind closed doors, but here’s a snippet of what he said after the game.

"The starts start in the morning when you come to the morning skate, that’s when they start. You have a night to take a breather or what not, but the next morning when you get up it is game day. Boy it is game on, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. It’s game day. Period.

"We win a game and we figure we are going to be hosting the Cup or something…I don’t know, I don’t know. It’s a joke….

"The battle level was non-existent tonight. The pride in the jersey was not even close to what it needed to be. It was an absolute joke, a travesty."

Renney gave them the benefit of the doubt after their embarrassing 5-0 loss to Chicago last Wednesday, by playing four-on-four shinny, but I don’t see him being so nice this time around. Slow starts have plaqued this team all year, excluding maybe three games, so it is clear they don’t know how to get prepared on game day.

This is not part of the process, and calling up Linus Omark or Liam Reddox won’t fix this problem. It could help, but it won’t fix the lack of heart across the lineup.

It is on the players to be better

Act like professionals and be ready to play from the opening whistle. These players need to find the heart, determination, preparation and hockey-sense necessary to compete in the NHL, because in five of their last seven starts they haven’t come close to even competing.

Tonight’s game was a joke and it is time the players do more than just talk about they got off to a slow start.

Show some pride! 

  • Oilers4ever

    I guess I’m taking up basket weaving and fly tying then…. might as well add plastersine too seeing from what Jason’s saying they are waiting internally.. 20 games shows that is not going to happen… Any way we can watch the farm team live somehow? At least they know know how to entertain and win…

    • Feynman

      Maybe basket weaving or fly tying would get rid of this nasty twitch under my left eye…..or at least I might stop walking into the bathroom with my toaster.

      *thinks he hears the bath runnning*

  • Feynman

    Nice article JG, you are bang on. Switching one player won’t turn the boat around for sure. The team needs more heart. Now, bringing up the Red Ox sure won’t hurt, neither will keeping Belle and playing out old Struds in the A.
    Related note, this could be the last year for Pens or Cogs. We have Omark coming up next year and no spot for him, so you do the math.
    Vandermeer and Struds will be gone too. Those are my predictions for the summer.

    • Hemmercules

      Two horrible dmen with expiring contracts, one fringe player on his last chance and one of the Oilers only tradeable players all gone. That is one BOLD prediction for this summer, lol.

  • Oilers4ever

    Well played Bender, well played…. and true what Dreger wrote too.. as a mgmt team.. if your peers in the league are calling your D soft… if that isn’t enough to make you get off your laurels and do something to improve the team they you don’t deserve to be a mgr and it’s time for Katz to pull the rug out.. Frick.. I could manage this team better…. I think.. 🙂 At least there’d be change. 🙂

  • m@s f@s

    I wonder if these players would show a little more heart if a copy of the last paycheque they received for playing A GAME was taped to their water bottles on the bench/net…a little added motivation for those moments when they think “I’ll hit that guy next shift…”, “I’ll forecheck harder next time…”, “I’ll cover the front of the net in just one sec.”

    I would do all of that and get my own visor-cleaning towel for $10,000 a month.

  • Ryan14

    Gilbert is just a microchosm of what is wrong this year. Players are being put in positions where they are destined for failure, then criticized for failing. Is Gagner a # 1 centre? No. Is Gilbert a # 2 d-man? No.

    There are problems at every level of the organization. This was blatantly obvious last year. Management has made errors when it comes to asset management. Coaching has had problems motivating and preparing the players. The players have had problems, well, almost everywhere. To blame one level of the organization though is just straight tom-foolery*

    It takes longer than one summer to solve all the problems this team had and still does. There was a 50% turnover this past offseason, and we can expect more over the next calendar year.

    This situation is not as easy as call this player up and send this player down. Those may be changes, but they are minimal at best. If (and hopefully when) changes are made, I want them to be for the betterment of the organization. Not another band aid to hide yet another hole this team has.

    In conclusion, we suck and it’s (almost) everybody’s fault.

    *hehe. Tom foolery. What a funny word.

  • book¡e

    Agree with David S. – The tank job is to obvious. They should have relied up N.Khabs back/drinking/whatever plus the rookie learning curve to sink the season.

    However, it is sad to see so many guys struggling to find any motivation.

  • Slapshot

    We are not even two months into the season yet and I have started to lose interest in the team.I am back to giving away tickets to Oilers games, to clients and friends and not many of them want them either.The biggest disappoitment is that everyone new the team would be bad,just not this bad.

    • Scheherazade

      Completely agree. When I am working late and can’t see it live, I am hesitant to watch it online later. It’s beginning to feel like I’m paying $19.99 a month to tape kamikaze pilots or something.

  • Faceoffs and Defense. These are two crucial elements lost in the “rebuild” while we were getting excited about young scorers.

    I think our offense is on the way to being more and more effective – but only if we can ever get possession of the puck (faceoffs and defense).

  • Hemmercules

    Sounds and looks to me that the Boys snuck out of their rooms after their Dads tucked them in for the night and they stayed out wayy too late.

    Renney alluded to a poor morning start and it continued all day and night and he was livid. I think the leash just got a lot shorter..and it’s about time.

    I’m happy that Renney lit into them but I was almost wishing we had the Old Bear Quinn on the mic tearing these guys new asses. That guy was a classic and man his blood would boil! haha good times!

  • Ryan14

    While they were all bad, the D stood out as particularly putrid. Really though they have 2 top 4 D and that’s it. Belle had happy feet all night and Foster has to be considered a whiff. When they finally got a PP (in the 2nd i think when it was still only 2-0) he stood like a coat rack and never made any movement to open a passing lane to himself. What’s the point of having his shot on the team if he never shoots? Since he’s not contributing on the scoresheet since he’s bigger than almost anyone why not hit somebody and make it slightly uncomfortable.

    Totally unreasonable for Peckham and Smid to be left to do all the physical work. Gilbert should start with a haircut – maybe that’ll change his attitude. Nobody is going to be intimidated by a guy who looks like he should be hauling groceries out to your car.

  • Mouse

    it’s one thing for everyone to understand that playing 4 and 14 in the top six with all the TOI that comes with it means you’re gonna have bumps.

    we all get that.

    but right now you’ve got holes up there due mostly to inexperience but then you’ve got the 13-67 combo tearing the guts out of any chance the third line would have to chip in and almost the entire bottom six could be swapped out.

    i didn’t blame mact until the end and i think he just got burned out. but i can blame mgmt for believing the following:

    – 13 was a third line pivot
    – 67 could produce without having quality linemates
    – 26 was anything more than a guy who’s value had been pumped by circumstances
    – 44 was so easily replaceable and/or it was worth the battle.

    does this team quit sometimes? yeah, a little. but all of guys like 5-6-77-10-27-83-89 have to be damn good every night just so it doesn’t like like the team Is quitting.

    the team wasn’t built in an intelligent manner so even though i know this was renney’s rant and not whichever guy is the real GM, at some point you gotta understand that most times you get what you pay for.

  • Eddie Shore

    So because they “think” they don’t have a hope in hell, they don’t have to try? It is their very job to be ready and show up each and every game, no matter what. That is why they are supposed professional athletes. That is why they make what they make. That’s the difference between them and me failing at bench-press.

  • Horcsky

    Still hoping that the management strategy this year is to suck until we’re deep enough in a last place hole to guarantee a lotto finish, then slowly start making some callups and moves to get some of the passengers out of the lineup.

    I refuse to get worried about management unless we’re safely in last, and they STILL won’t make a roster move.

    The only problem is it’s going to be tough to out-terrible the devils, islanders, and flames. We might not be in the insurmountable valley of suckitude until the very end of the season.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Losing has been the norm here now going on five years, it has become acceptable under Lowe and Tambellinis watch. It appears as though none of the players in the dressing room hate losing. Hopefully the newer kids won’t inherit these qualities, they must be looking around this dressing room looking for some/any leadership, looking to see how someone who’s sick and tired of it should act. Last time i seen a guy like that here was Sheldon Souray.

    Tambellini and Lowe have long abused this vibrant hockey market, playing in front of a 98% capacity audience every evening has masked their deficiencies.