Try as you might, you will not convince me Kevin Lowe is not still driving the Oilers’ bus.
Lowe hired Steve Tambellini and then let him fiddle while the Oilers burned.
Then, in a bout of divine inspiration, he hired Craig MacTavish to oversee the on ice activities of the team while other more eminently qualified candidates were not even considered.
Lowe hired MacTavish, in my opinion, because they think (and act) alike.
That might be a good thing if there was some evidence that Lowe and MavTavish knew how to construct a winning hockey team in the contemporary NHL. But they don’t.
MacTavish, in one of his first rash acts as GM, fired his head coach and hired Dallas Eakins, a rookie head coach who has never won anything at any level of hockey.
And here we are.
The Interwebs have been ablaze with Oilers WTF moments in the past couple of days.
TSN analyst Ray Ferraro, one of the most insightful observers in all of hockey had this to say:
It’s actually quite amazing the early season struggles of the Oilers. I hate talking about the Oilers bc I feel like I’m a broken record. Compounded errors by making the same errors over & over again. If this is what the season looks like in 4 more games they need to get Draisaitl and Nurse back to junior.
The LA game was worse than the Arizona game. The biggest issue they face is at no point did it look like the Oilers felt they could win that game against LA. The coach looked like he didn’t have any answers. Was first time I thought they might not be able to stay the course w the coach.
I thought last year it seemed like a debacle from the get go in Edmonton. From almost the very first day even taking away the donuts from the writers. His focus was too wide. You can’t change the world need to focus on what’s right in front of you & they had plenty of work in front of them.
Now you get to the 2nd year & they should be more comfortable & there should be signs of improvement and there really hasn’t been. Would they be better served with a more experienced coach? They can’t be less served.
Here’s the thing, they [Edm] have all kinds of talent, but over the past few years they don’t score a lot of goals either. They [Edmonton] never score 5 on 5. What’s Hall 4 years in? I assume there comes a point where he thinks we’re making progress & then he says we’re the same spot we were in 4 years ago.
We saw last year how Frustration burns in that kid [Hall]. He has an engine that constantly churns. I can’t imagine [Hall] wants to sit there & watch the early part of your career waste away [on a team] that can’t show improvement.
Their [Edm] model for building the team is clearly flawed. If they can’t see that, I don’t know what they’re looking at. You have to start almost again at what your model is going to be and the model can’t be getting 18/19 year olds into your lineup.
MacTavish said in camp they have to find out if RNH & Eberle are great, not good players. The league is different than it was in 1985 you need to be able to defend & counter off your defense. Forwards don’t dominate the game like they did before. There’s too much back pressure. The Oilers have half a dozen forwards who are all the same.
They have no variance in their lineup. It’s really difficult to find something positive to say about them [Oilers]. Sometimes I try, but I just can’t.
The esteemed Bob McKenzie also weighed in today in a similar vein and Puck Daddy devoted a lot of pixels to a round up of the Oilers “Tire Fire”
So, if the entire hockey world, outside the fan boy apologists, can see this why doesn’t Daryl Katz?
He doesn’t strike me as dim witted so perhaps Occam’s Razor tells us he doesn’t give a shit.
Revenue is fine, the value of the franchise is increasing exponentially and the Oiler faithful keep lapping up the drek.
At some point, Dallas Eakins is likely to pay the price for the team’s lack of performance and we will see another episode of rinse and repeat but as Ferraro and others have intimated, the fish rots from the head down and until Katz is willing to cut off the head nothing much will change.