Urgency Emergency

Posted by Kyle Kosior in Editorials on March 30, 2009 — 23 Comments

I write this not so much as an Illegal Curve contributor, but rather as a concerned fan. Having watched the Oilers for many, many years, I think it is safe to say that I have never felt as uninspired as I do now. My main concern is the coaching, for many reasons.

I have been a MacTavish supporter in the past. I like his one-liners and quips and how he handles the media and how he can coach a team made up of quasi-skilled grinders like he had in the spring of 2006.  That being said, this train wreck of a season has convinced me its time for him to move on. Leaving the bulk of the season out of the equation, the Oilers have for the last week been teetering in and out of a playoff position. Despite the fact that they are essentially playing playoff games right now, their games have the intensity of a father-daughter skate. I know that some of this blame must fall to the players, but ultimately the coach must get his team ready to play. The 4 or 5 minutes that they show any spark or life is simply not enough. Couple the lack of motivation with the decision to play Liam Reddox over guys who provide a spark (like JF Jacques or Zach Stortini), and you are left with a variety of equations that lead to the same answer. Fire Craig MacTavish.

The last 8 or so years have left a trail of mediocrity that shouldn’t be tolerated. Some years we have had the players, other years we haven’t, but the outcome is always the same, finishing 7th to 10th and typically getting bounced early in the playoffs. The lovely run of 2006 aside, this type of result should not have been tolerated for this long. Outside of the Liberal Party of Canada (Hello Drew!) and the US auto industry, where else is this ineptitude condoned? The problem is, unlike the auto industry, we can’t go running to President Teleprompter asking him to send us a 40 goal scorer riding on the back of a puck moving defenseman (because the team is in Canada, you see).

I see other coaches do more with less and wonder why this doesn’t happen in Edmonton. I see coaches that can motivate, coaches that can turn rejects into players and coaches that can win close games. I will acknowledge that MacTavish has successfully brought along a number of young players, but it seems for every kid he has brought along, he has ruined the confidence of another. When you are a team like the Oilers and you need some scoring punch, you simply cannot keep turning scorers into checkers. Defensive responsibility is one thing, but sometimes its ok to let a player play to his strengths.

We always seem to choke in must win games, we do not have a power play or a penalty kill, we healthy scratch our scorers for guys that “ONLY” end up -1 (which makes most Oilers fans happy because it fits well into their statistical databases) we turn players into rejects and our Captain has mastered the art of the meaningless penalty 150 feet from anywhere at times when we can least afford them. To me, this kind of problem needs a top down fix.

Agree, disagree, have a statistical model saying the Oilers are only Marty Reasoner away from winning the Stanley Cup? Lets hear it in the comments. (Disclosure Part 2: If your argument is in fact based on statistics, please use lay terms. I only passed Stats 151 because I had the good fortune to sit near a girl with low self-esteem. Do the math on that one).

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Richard

    I am not an Oilers fan, but Ethan Moreau on the ice in the last two minutes of a game when you are down by one goal is worrisome.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Drew

    Considering that Stephen Harper will be out of a job sooner rather than later, maybe now is the time for IC to approach him about being a contributor. He is, after all, (supposedly) writing a book about the history of hockey. In reality though, he is just re-writing a book that was written by former PM of Australia John Howard. I will take President Teleprompter over Prime Minister Plagiarizer any day of the week.

    Funny how both teams of blue, the Oilers and Conservatives, are both tanking terribly.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    If you have to copy a book, you could do a lot worse that stealing John Howard’s ideas, though I am not sure if Howard can compete with TOTUS’ two autobiographies about…???? (community organizing? hope? change? NCAA brackets? The 57 states? Special Olympics?)

    If PMSH is out of a job, we can only hope its because Jason Kenney is taking over!

    When it comes to colours, lets not forget the 100 year old red out in La Belle Provence. Your imported leader should help them out.

    In all seriousness, thanks for reading Drew. Your contribution will not go unnoticed.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    Also, where is Pat Quinn these days?

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    Long gone are the days of the Smythe division when the Oilers were a team to be feared!

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Drew

    I definitely would be in favour of Jason Kenney a.k.a Fred Flinstone being the new leader of the (future) official opposition. Given his beliefs, and probably those of the people who support him, Dino would be named Minister of Science and Technology, and Bam Bam would be elected Minister of Defense. For some strange reason, despite the protestations of his caucus (which features Kazoo as a back-bencher), Same Sex Marriage would remain intact. Must be something near and dear to Fred’s heart.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    I always knew him and Barney were more than “friends”. Makes you wonder what happened when he and Barney were “attending meetings” for the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    The comments section at IC has really gone down hill. Next thing you know Warren Kinsella and Chretien himself will show up.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Drew

    You bring Karl Rove (the devil incarnate), and I will bring The Rolling Stones to play Sympathy for the Devil, and we will have a rootin-tootin good ol’ time.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    For a little bald guy with no connection to government, you guys sure talk about him a lot. How about I bring Karl and Rush, just to make the party extra special?

    Also, we can talk about why the Oilers should fire MacTavish, who as one of his last acts, has brought the Right and Left together.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Drew

    Kumbaya.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    No hippy music Drew.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Drew

    You want me to tell the story that an NDP MP told me about how he got the nomination to run for the Dippers?

  • Bob Roberts

    Has there been a higher # of comments on an IC article?

    -Fire MacT.

    -Fire Lowe.

    -Hire Pat Quinn: what, he’d do worse than CM?

    Off topic a bit (which is certainly rare today in the “Comments” section @ IC), don’t the Blues right now remind you of the Oilers the last time they won the Cup with Gelinas’ “Kid Line”? They get in and look out: hot goaltending, on a total roll, too young to know they can’t win,…

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    depends Bob. If you count total comments than maybe, but if you remove Drew and Kyle’s political exchange then perhaps not.

    Young gun team like the Blues vs. a wily vet team like the Red Wings. Blue have solid goaltending, the Wings not as much, could be a lot closer than people expect.

  • Bob Roberts

    “Here we go [Blues], here we go…”

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    just imagine how good the Blues could have been if they would have sent a representative to that 1983 draft.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    Drew, tell me the story.

    Bob, Yes, Pat Quinn would look good. At this point, any change in blood would be welcome. How about Scott Arniel?

    The Blues might be a tough team to play. I never count out those young teams, especially when your players don’t “know” they aren’t supposed to win.

    In addition to goaltending troubles, the Wings defense has been a bag of yuck lately.

  • Bob Roberts

    I understand that Brent Sutter loves to coach but NJ is too far from his ranch and team in Red Deer…say, Edmonton’s not far from Red Deer is it? How would the Oil do with him at the helm?

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    Bob, I would sign up for that in a second. If nothing else, it would make the mallow soft Oilers tougher to play against.

    What about a conflict of interest between the Rebels and Oil Kings?

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    How many Sutter’s can Alberta support? He would sure be close to the farm in Edmonton.

    My only question would be; is he more of a coach for a veteran team or could he help with young player development?

  • Bob Roberts

    Are the Oil Kings owned by Mr. Rexall? I never can remember that guy’s name. If not, I can’t see a conflict.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Drew

    Mr Rexall’s name is Darryl Katz.

    The short version of the NDP MP story is that he and his lefty friends were sitting in a basement getting high, and it was determined that he would be the candidate simply because he was the first person to volunteer. Needless to say, he has been elected and re-elected multiple times since that time.

    Knowing what I know, I should start a website dedicated to horrifying stories of our elected representatives.