As if it wasn’t bad enough the Edmonton Oilers continued their tailspin into oblivion by taking a 5-0 spanking from the 29th-place Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place Friday, they compounded the embarrassment by turning the other cheek after Francois Beauchemin slapped Sam Gagner around.

In a mismatch that saw the Oilers lose for the 12th time in the last 14 games, Tom Renney’s team not only looked like it has quit on what’s left of the season, but like an outfit that has quit on each other. Apparently, there’s no piss, vinegar or fight left in them.

How else can you explain what happened — what didn’t happen, to put it more accurately – after Beauchemin took a run at Taylor Hall, then punched out Gagner after he took exception to the hit and tried to step in?

Gagner wanted a piece of the action, so Beauchemin had no choice but to fill him in, and did so somewhat reluctantly. That, apparently, was just fine with Gagner’s teammates, who didn’t lay a glove on Beauchemin the rest of the night. Not Ben Eager. Not Andy Sutton. Not Theo Peckham. Not Colten Teubert. Darcy Hordichuk was in the press box. Nobody.

And there was precious little fight shown by Gagner’s teammates with the gloves on, either. The Ducks waltzed around almost uncontested and moved within one point of the Oilers, who went so quietly you could have heard a pin drop at the final buzzer – if it wasn’t for the booing of disgruntled fans.

They laid down and took it.


"I felt like the opportunity was there, obviously," Gagner said of deciding to drop the gloves after the hit on Hall. "He throws lefts. That’s not something I was aware of, but I don’t think I’d change what I did.

"I’m not really a guy who studies fights or anything, so I don’t know which ways guys throw or how tough they are, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. Like I said, I’m worse for the wear, so . . ."

Perhaps Eager, who is supposed to know which way guys throw yet has one less fight than Gagner this season, thought a stern talking-to would do the trick. Maybe the Sutton thought casting a hairy eyeball Beauchemin’s way was good enough.

I don’t how else to explain it. All I know is that was pretty much the extent of the reaction after Gagner ate four or five left hands in a beat down after he jumped in for Hall and stepped way up in weight class. Full marks to Gagner. A complete and utter fail for the rest of the Oilers.

With nobody willing to step in and take Beauchemin to task, you’d think the Oilers would at least show some resolve by playing a hard-nosed game the rest of the night, by contesting every puck, by taking the body at absolutely every opportunity. Yes, you’d think. It didn’t happen. Perhaps they were saving themselves for Saturday’s skills competition, no jam required.

What a heartless display.

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

  • Rob...

    what happened last night is happening because we have a team of misfits and miscasts. There needs to be size and grit throughout the line up. That means and includes the top six. we are and have been too small in our top six this has been known and yet our gm neglects to address this. The downside to picking first overall again is in this case we end up with another smallish forward. With our abundance of similar smurfs at forward a trade something like Eberle for say a Jamie Benn or whatever it would take to make that happen. Yes I get the fan love on for Ebs and I too would hate to move him but look here, fact is we really have little any else would want. This whole situation is a mess Oil brass created and some unpopular moves will have to be made to fix. Fear not we don’nt have the GM who knows how and what it takes to build a team so as long as KLowe and ST are running this show we will continue to fail. Fire these two clowns !
    Tillman for GM !

  • Rob...

    Gotta go ahead and disagree with Brownlee here.
    First, newsflash, this team is a bunch of panzies. This was established back in the BOA when Glencross ran around unscathed.
    Not newsworthy.
    Secondly, at this point, sticking up for each other is all well and good, but a more pertinent article would have been:
    Yakupov VS Grigorenko, Round 1.
    Write that article please.
    This season is so last year.

    • So, they should have stuck up for each other in the past, but doing it now doesn’t matter?

      Not newsworthy? Given that every media outlet in town made it a focus in coverage last night and again today, I’d suggest you’re mistaken.

      How many Yakupov or Grigorenko articles would you like in the 82 days between now and the end of the season, plus the five weeks after that leading into the draft?

      So, you’re “disagreeing” with what, exactly?

    • Milli

      Hey I would be the first to agree with that. I’m just looking at the results we have achieved lately. Plus when one closely watches the Cup finals, our short coming are quite apparent. Sadly though I think when the Oil season is done Klowe and Tambellini turn their tvs off. As a manger Tamellini needs to be watching other teams and other players and start targeting players of need. Not waiting for his phone to ring like he did last year when the trigger on Hemsky should have been pulled. What good is he sitting a top Rexall place watching hie continued debacle unfold. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I said it before but this REBUILD talk in my books is BS and I’ll point out again the Senators, now just 5 points out of first place overall. I think too that all the injuries the team has encountered over the last few years is due to their lack of size. Too often the are on the wrong side of a hit. A bigger more aggressive team can more easily impose their will on teams in this case tougher to play against. Ie. Boston, Phily, San Jose, Vancouver even calgary has their way with us. Play hockey is very different than the regular season, we are not built for a playoff run.

  • Milli

    I love what Gagner did. That kids has shown he has more heart than nearly any other OIler. DO NOT TRADE HIM. Give this kid a few more years and see how he does.

  • Milli

    This is nothing new on the Oilers. They’ve been by and large a team of pacifist doormats for several years now.

    The Oilers have played soft for years. It’s always the same old, same old….isn’t it?

    The way the team plays should reflect the philosophy of management, the coach, and the veteran leadership of the team. Obviously these groups must be ok with the makeup of the Oilers and the style they play….otherwise wouldn’t someone have said something by now? Wouldn’t something have been done about it?

    I tend to focus on the captain of the hockey team, the guy who’s the leader on the ice, in the dressing room, and is the face of the team in the media….ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    Is this the guy who’s going to set an example? Is this the guy who has credibility and the respect of his teammates? Is this the guy who’s going to hold his teammates accountable? Is this the guy who, after a team show’s squat in the first period, gets after his teammates in the first intermission, and gets his guys totally fired up for the second period? IS THIS THE GUY who sees the Calgary Flames are the opposition on a given night and says something to the effect of: “Boys, I don’t know if we’re gonna win or lose, but I’ll tell you one thing….those FACKERS ARE GOING TO KNOW THEY’VE BEEN IN A FREAKIN HOCKEY GAME WHEN THIS IS OVER!!!”…..is Horcoff this guy? NO, ON ALL COUNTS.

    The summer Taylor Hall was drafted, the Oilers went on and on about “Oil Change” and how the character of the team was going to change. Some changes were evident, for sure, in terms of the opportunities afforded young players.

    The elephant remains in the room, however, that will keep this team from being competitive and eventually great. As long as players like Horcoff, for example, are given the high profile that they have, that change will NOT come about. The Oilers need to seriously consider the mentality of this team as opposed to what that mentality HAS to be to be even an average hockey team…God forbid a good one. It’s not clear what the mentality of the team is supposed to be. By all appearances the passive, underperforming leadership of the team has the tacit approval of both management and the coach. To me, this is the single most disturbing roadblock this team MUST overcome, but has shown absolutely no inclination to do so. It’s a pretty sad situation, in my opinion.

  • Milli

    Size is defintely a factor in winning. If we fall enough that we pick 1st again we are faced with drafting Yakupov who is listed at 5’11 167 or Grigorenko who is listed at 6’3 200.Do we pass on NK in favor of a talented center who has the size and skill. Not an easy choice.

    I look at some of our prospects and see that size has been drafted. Hamilton and Pitlick both are of a size that would fit your criteria.

    The other factor we are arguing this weekend is character. Or the Oilers lack of it. That also is a factor in winning.

    My point is that we still are looking for the right players who will fit to become a team.

    ST still has alot of work to do. So does Renny.Assesment is ongoing and that leads to players being traded or not resigned. This is what we’ll continue to see in the next couple of years. The growing pains are awful. But I hope that when all is said and done that the Oilers will once again be able to hoist the Cup and a more annual asis. Till then….