We have been asking the exact same question for the past four years, and the Oilers have yet to find the answer.
Will they this off-season?
Craig MacTavish is on record as saying he plans to build around Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, who signed a two-year, $2.5 million AAV extension today and vowed he will support them, which I assume meant by adding better players around them.
How will he go about this? I will ask him exactly that at his 2 p.m. press conference today.
MacTavish recently said he feels this group is improving, and that’s what concerns me. They have shown no signs of actual improvement as a team.
They just set a franchise record for fewest wins in a season, 24, and since MacTavish took over the Oilers have won 53 of 164 games, which is only 32.7% of their games.
In the previous three seasons, the Oilers won 76 of 212 games, meaning they won 35.8% of the time.
This team has not improved at all.
Stop telling us they have.
Stop saying that visually they are better, because the most important statistic, winning, clearly states that is not the case.
The Oilers need to be better defensively. Not just the defence, but the forwards and the goalies. Over the past five seasons, the Oilers are a league-worst -264 in goal differential.
They have been outscored 1195-931.
Buffalo sits at -218 and Florida is -206. Toronto is 4th worst and -130. The goal differential gap between the Oilers and the 27th worst team is a whopping 134.
This year alone the Oilers were -90 in goal differential, scoring 193 goals and allowing a league-worst 283.
MacTavish and everyone in the organization must realize they have not improved. They must stop lying to themselves. You can’t blame Dallas Eakins for all of the woes of the organization.
The Oilers won 17 of 46 games after he was fired, which is only 36.9%. Eakins obviously wasn’t the solution for the team, but their winning % before and after him wasn’t much different, so he can’t be the only one taking blame.
The Oilers must improve every aspect of their team.
They need more consistent goaltending.
They need more experienced defencemen.
They need more productive forwards.
The entire team needs a more consistent and determined work ethic.
And management has to stop pretending the team has improved, because they haven’t.
The most important question should be coming from Daryl Katz and Bob Nicholson.
Will their team improve with the current management group?
- A huge shout out to the organizing committee of the Alzheimers Faceoff tournament. It was another excellent event and the 23 teams who participated on the ice raised over $1.2 million for Alzheimers. A fantastic job by the committee and all the players who solicited donations. Well done.
- Due to popular demand we have added a 2nd day for our MS Bike Tour charity poker event. The winner will get a seat at the WSOP main event in July. The 1st day sold out in three days, so if you are interested I suggest you sign up fast. You can register at jasongregor.com. Good luck.
- We had some lively debates over the weekend on who should win the Norris Trophy? Who would you vote for and why? Based on this season, not what a player has done in the past.
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