Seravalli: Ken Holland and Paul Coffey visited the Oilers’ locker room
25 days ago
The sun feels like it is shining on the Edmonton Oilers once again. The vibes are high in the city following a fantastic 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames in front of over 50,000 people at the Heritage Classic on Sunday. On top of that, the team saw the return of Connor McDavid, had their annual Halloween Party, and even welcomed Sam Gagner back to the time for the third time in his career. Life is good for the Copper and Blue at the moment.
However, when you peel back to last Thursday, the Oilers suffered a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers, and the sky felt like it was falling quickly. That loss made it four in a row for them, and everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong. Luck wasn’t on their side, and you could feel the frustration building.
Until the third period on Sunday, the Oilers had more “F-bombs” in the post-game interviews (two) than third-period goals (one).
“You can’t win in this league if you’re not bringing 60-minute efforts,” said Darnell Nurse following the 3-0 to the Rangers. “We have to reset and can’t feel sorry for ourselves. It’s easy to point fingers. We’ve got everyone looking in the mirror at this point, and we’ve got to be a whole lot f**ing better.”
After that game, the media was delayed entering the locker room. The player held a brief meeting after another substandard performance. Only a few days before, when they were in Minnesota, they allowed five goals in the third period.
On Wednesday, Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff joined us on Oilersnation Everyday to discuss the Oilers’ start to the season. It exclaimed how everyone was well aware of how they had been playing before the Heritage Classic, including the team’s general manager, Ken Holand.
“Paul Coffey and Ken Holland — I believe — had a meeting with the team over the weekend,” said Frank Seravalli. “They asked them what kind of team they wanted to be: average, good, or great. That is going to sacrifice and effort, which you saw a bit more of that in the Heritage Classic with how hungry they were for pucks and other little details. Ultimately, despite a bunch of hurdles to start, they managed to stay afloat and take hold of the game. Sometimes teams need a jolt, and I wonder if, with everything that has happened, it will help set this team on the right course.”
You rarely hear about the general manager talking to the team so early in the season. The team needed it, so whatever Holland and Coffey said worked. However, the win over the Flames is just one win. The Oilers still have a sub-500 record and have only two wins to their name. It’s about what they do next that will prove this team is trending in a positive direction again. Unfortunately for them, it won’t be an easy task for them.
The Dallas Stars come to Edmonton on Thursday for their first visit to Rogers Place. They’ll be coming in on the second of back-to-backs after beating the Calgary Flames 4-3 at the Saddledome. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Oilers to continue to build momentum and narrow the gap with the Vegas Golden Knights at the top of the division.
As Frank said, all the good stuff that has happened since that meeting with Holland Coffey can jolt this team. More than anything, the Oilers must keep their work ethic high, and everything else will accompany that.
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