There’s so much for Todd McLellan to be happy about. He gets to coach Connor freaking McDavid, he has the keys in his hands to what is supposed to be one of the most exciting franchises in the NHL, a young team, a new barn, and a passionate fan base. Yet, just like Charlie Brown, there’s so much for him to be depressed about. His team can’t score, there’s a lack of effort at times, the special teams is a disaster, and they’re on the outside looking in on the playoffs.
When Todd McLellan stepped up to the podium after Wednesday night’s loss, all I seemed to hear in my head was the sound from the Charlie Bown cartoon when the adults talk. It always seems to be the same story, and it’s starting to sound like a broken record.
"You get no offensive momentum or any type of jump." Coach McLellan as the #Oilers were forced to kill four penalties in the first half of the game
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 7, 2017
I do want to say that TMac took a bullet for his team when they were blown out on November 21st in St Louis. He accepted the fact that there were problems on all fronts, including with his coaching, and that made me wish I had managers at my former workplaces like him. After accepting his part in things, the team responded well the next night, winning in Detroit, but now we’re back to square one only two weeks later.
"We can't rely on one line, one goaltender or one D pairing to bail us out every night & that starts with me & other (top forwards)." @Drat_29
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 22, 2017
Remember the Arizona game that the Oilers barely won and some lucky guy won $259,177?! I fell asleep in that game because the Oilers came out so damn flat. Even though the team came back and forced an overtime win, it was not one of their better nights. There have been so many other games just like that except for the fact that they couldn’t pull out a win. That’s not a great spot to be in.
The Oilers are really in a pickle now, and LB’s goaltending will maybe mask the fact that the team is struggling. I doubt it though — the fan base has noticed and are all aware that LB isn’t getting help. Matchups have been questionable all season, as have been special teams. It’s not all TMac’s fault, he has assistants, but when does he override their judgement and try to save those ships, or has he already? Peter Chiarelli might have called it death by a thousand cuts, but it’s really a sinking ship that when you patch one hole another one appears. There’s just no stopping it from going down.
After Wednesday nights loss to the Flyers, the Oilers bench boss let his team have it at the next day’s practice. If you haven’t seen the video yet let me give you the CliffsNotes; he criticized their effort and passes with lots of beeps, all during practice. If you watch the video be sure to take note of the player at around 0:18 seconds who turns around. That’s not great body language. In my opinion, this outburst is about a month and a half too late.
— BarDown (@BarDown) December 8, 2017
I won’t lie, I think TMac has lost the room. How does a team who had so much swagger last year come into this year and look like they’re being forced to read Romeo and Juliet in a high school classroom? He can’t jumpstart his team to come out and compete like it’s game seven of the Stanley Cup to play a game start to finish. I think this season is going to be a wash, a learning experience for young Connor and his teammates moving forward. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Oilers give TMac until the All-Star break to figure things out, and if he’s smart he’ll download Uber, so he doesn’t end up another Gerard Gallant.
How long of a leash do you think Chia has given his head coach? Would you axe him now or do you think he’ll get it going again? Let me know your thoughts below!