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10-30-2013, 12:50 PM
...better... or not
nexttothemoon's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern Alberta
Country: Canada
Posts: 13,287
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If I'm being honest... when I first heard Eakins and all his talk (some might call it bluster) about fitness and coming in and changing everything up to healthier eating etc... I really did have the thought that's all well and good but what will this actually do on the ice where the game is actually played? Does this guy actually have the coaching systems and methods to get the most out of this team?

Those were my initial thoughts and of course I was willing to give him time to learn what this team had and what he had to work with. He's a green rookie at the NHL level and of course he's got to go through a learning stage as well... it's also a trial by fire thrown into a lottery type team like this coming out of a rebuild.

Fans/media and everyone else are expecting an upward trajectory for this team coming out of the rebuild (supposedly) so he has little leeway for a mediocre season after what this team has done for the last several years.

Some will say this is just 20-20 hindsight talking since they've played so poorly so far... but honestly the thought that went through my head before the season started was "Fired by Christmas". I'm not saying I thought he'd be a uber-crappy coach because he hadn't even had a chance to show what he could do... BUT I could see the team hadn't been improved this summer as much as most thought and it was a bunch of new players once again being thrown together with a green rookie HC all expected to gel and develop chemistry together. Chances of failure were and are pretty high in that situation.

It could have gone like the Avalanche are looking so far (rookie coach on a team that's been mediocre the last few years as well) ... but obviously the Oilers are in a deeper hole and with even more problems.

Still... Eakins needs to be given a shot at turning this around but honestly if this team is still sitting in 14th in the West and close to bottom in the NHL in a months time... very real possibility he'll be gone by Christmas. MacT will likely shake up the team somewhat by trading pieces (likely major pieces as well) by then but I still wouldn't rule out an Eakins firing if it doesn't look like he can do better with this team than what's currently happening.

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