Oilers teams, past and present have ranged from good to bad. These days? Very bad! There are lots of reasons to be excited, but far more reasons to be pretty frustrated and disgusted by the play of this team this year. Let's cover the area's to be disgusted and frustrated by...
1) Lack of scoring; No matter how you break it down, this team has to score more. PP, and 5 on 5 it needs to be scoring more with the talent that exists. Scoring is down this year from last year. Why? Not because the talent is less. Either this is a coaching issue with systems play or it's that this talent is not very elite. You pick! Got a different reason? Let us know under comments.
2) We keep getting told, this is a rebuild! Really? Have you seen Montreal this year? What about Florida in year's past? Maybe the Flyers after drafting 3rd OV? You see, no team has had 3 straight #1 OV draft picks and still struggled on the bottom. This may be a rebuild and maybe we do need to be more patient, but 4 straight years in the bottom 5 of the NHL is not acceptable. UNLESS.......
Could it be, this management team is trying to do the unthinkable and actually tank things to bring in elite talent? Sure, no one will say they are. Think about it, this management would be unacceptable in almost every other city in the NHL, yet they get the vote of confidence. Something is not adding up.
3) The Oilers are winning now, just relax! They are? A few wins here and there do not add up to a good season. Granted there has been a better team iced in the past while. Could it have anything to do with the demotion of Hordichuk and Eager? Maybe, maybe not! While the Oilers won't finish in the bottom 2 teams in the NHL this season, they could finish as low as 4th or 5th worst if they don't sustain what they are currently doing. A few injuries here or there and this season could be written off. As close as the Oilers are to making a playoff push this shortened season, they could just as easily soon be totally out of the playoff picture.
4) No good opportunities to trade for great players; Really? You buy that argument? Granted, it's not easy but that is no excuse for a GM to use when EVERY SINGLE GM in the league has the same restrictions and problems. All I keep hearing MSM say is, 'it's not easy to trade for good players". I guess that means it can't be done? Why is that not also a excuse in other NHL cities as well? Other teams make trades all the time. Some for good defensemen and others for big top 6 power forwards and others for elite talent. No more excuses, you can't keep all your favourite players and still build a championship team. Keep the ones that build your team and trade the ones who can bring the best back for your needs and yet the smallest loss. That's why they call it management. Here is hoping, that our PRO Scouting department get's better.
5) The way Coaching is using Nail Yakupov; Maybe coaching will not put him out at certain points of the game due to defensive awareness in a tight game or when your trying to preserve a win with 5 minutes left in a game but the whole game on a line with pluggers? Guess that teaches him better eh? That bewilders me. His one timer seems to never get set up for on the PP and that is when they even PLAY him on the PP. Say what? Yeah, his PP effectiveness is really on the right half wall with his one timer and if your not going to use him right, why did we waste a year of his ELC on a team that has lots of high end ELC ending back to back? When you need a goal to tie the game, why not have a offensive threat like Nail Yakupov out there. Coaching should take a look again at his goals and see how clutch he can be...I have liked him playing with Paajarvi and Gagner but please Krueger, don't play him on the fourth line or with pluggers again. It's a waste, might as well bench him.
So, you great hockey fans in Oil Country, my apologies for opinions that may not be suitable to some readers eyes but I have become very frustrated with the way this team handles things and I believe it's about time this team is held accountable for their poor results. Where do you start? From the top of management down....what did they do in St.Louis and recently in Columbus? I'm just saying. IN the meantime I will just 'keep my stick on the ice'.