I guess it’s suitable that the latest coaching change occurred around ground hog day. There’s certainly a sense of déjà vu about this. Underperformance leads to new players signings, player shuffling, and when that nets no improvement, we get a coaching change. If things hold true to form, the next step will be casting off the architect – the GM.
It would be interesting to know what’s been going on behind closed doors the past few months. Maybe it’s like when the New York Knights brought in a psychologist in ‘The Natural’ to drum into players heads that “Losing is a disease, as contagious as syphilis”.
It really is too bad we can’t blame this one on Kevin Lowe, as there was a certain sense of satisfaction calling for his head. About the only thing for sure is that the keys to consistently winning over the last decade remain uncut.
At the beginning of the season, the team were world beaters, rattling of win after win with Connor and Leon catapulting to top the scoring stats. There was a jump and cohesiveness to the team, where systems appeared to be functioning, and scoring prowess maybe made up for D-zone deficiencies.
There are a myriad of identifiable problems that may have contributed to the skids the Oilers have hit. Maybe it’s their combination or that they’ve just become more visible when things go south. An old goalie, defensemen that are positionally challenged or have difficulty forwarding the puck, offensive puck cycling that looks like recycling, taking low percentage shots or not passing to get the best shot, no strong presence in front of the net at either end, lack of tough players to make up for the ones that aren’t, loss of confidence, lack of battle, sloppy play etc. etc.
Maybe it’s a curse? Maybe it’s Kevin Lowes’ fault after all? It seems to me things started going south about the time his number was retired celebrating his journeyman career. With liberalization and wokeism running rampant these days, maybe we should be happy to watch the Oilers win or lose. After all, aren’t the current generation pros the ones rewarded in their youth for participating irrespective of outcome? Maybe NHL players should be paid/rewarded like UFC fighters, where payment is based on performance, and instant post game rewards available (goal of the night, hit of the night, fight of the night, defensive play of the night, goalie performance). Should the players get paid the same amount win or lose?
Sometimes the easiest/simplest change is all that’s needed. Maybe there’s no need to fix what finger pointers say is broken. Maybe the GM won’t have to get tossed with his bathwater. Without ceremony, I’d suggest the Oilers take down Lowe’s number from the rafters and see what happens. I’m betting Kevin would be happier bringing a cup back to Edmonton then gazing up at his number as the crowd boos and toss their jerseys on the ice.
And that’s all folks