Last week I made the case that the senior management of the Oilers need to be fired asap ,as the first step in actually improving the Oilers and giving the Oiler fan base the results it deserves.
The results of the past week only underscore that.
Second, the past week demonstrates that the team as it now exists may need to be utterly deconstructed. With the players it has, the team can't actually NHL hockey.
The NHL game isn 't about skill , its about who has the better goaltender, who cycles best, who traps best, and who has the best coaching to re-inforce defensive structure at all costs.
Increasing the Oilers have blatantly deficient goaltending, soft skille forwards that sadly aren't playing in the 1980's, a defense which has too fundamental liabilities, veterans that , other than Belanger, contribute nothing to winning hockey games and a culture of accepting losing instead of raging against. Taylor Hall is the only exception to the abyss that is the Edmonton Oilers.
As for the coach, more dedicated to process than actually winnig hockey games in the here and now.
But none that can be addressed until Lowe, MacT and Tambo are fired. Like this afternoon.
New leadership would actually rid this team of the deadwood and the never will be.
And perhap, just perhaps, acquire real NHL players who can actually play the game that is NHL hockey.
I'd hope that this board could actually rise up collectively and insist on that step being taken.
It is a disgrace for Edmonton fans to lose consistently to teams from communities that don't actually care about hockey. That just adds to the insult.
I'd hope that this encourages facing reality instead always suppressing.
People will rebut my basic demand, but in two weeks this season will be a total write off.
Hopefully by then Lowe etal are fired.
I can see the big picture with what management has been doing thus far. They had a piss poor team with a tonne of holes, good players didn't/wouldn't come here, so they elected to rebuild through the draft. I applaud them for staying the course through that. I really didn't understand the coaching changes through this entirely, but Renney was known as a good teacher.
I had thought with Krueger taking over this year that management thought they would make a strong push up the standings. The lack of a trade when our C depth went to hell due to injuries was perplexing. Now, Krueger is refusing to make changes to a system that clearly is not working. Still more confusion on my part.
What management did with the draft picks was take the best possible player with the highest possible ceiling and the lowest probability of being a bust. This is what I firmly believe that you do with draft picks. Drafting for need over the best prospect with #1 picks is crazy. The Hall-Seguin, RNH-Land/Larson, and Yakupov-Murray debates were silly. You take the player that will become the best. Through no fault of their own, management has gotten their hands on a lot of skilled players with this approach.
Up until Schultz picking this team in the offseason, we are still not a team that is likely to attract veterans to sign here. We are not one or 2 players away from being a cup contender.
Management's time will be this coming offseason. Our top 6, in my opinion, will not work long term. As you pointed out, to soft, but with a tonne of skill. Management will need to make a decision on which 4 of the top 6 to keep, and move the other 2 to fill the teams glaring holes on D, and toughness in the top 6. We will not be able to afford all these skilled players once they are off their ELC's anyway, so getting maximum value for them and getting the right players will be key. I had thought that a few moves would really help this team this year, but it is becoming more and more obvious that they are no where near ready to compete with the best.
More patience is still required unfortunately. Taking this team from the worst in the league to a contender takes a lot of time.
I'm sure all fans can appreciate your emotions regarding the Oilers and their current play. There were significantly high expectations (3rd in one writers power rankings pre-season) going into the seasons with the additions of Yakupov and Schultz as well as the continued maturation of Eberle, Hall and RNH.
However, I think you need to be a bit more realistic on timeframes and the abilities to make moves in the NHL.
"utterly deconstructed" - while the team is far from great it isn't a terrible team. There is a lot of room to improve upon but as the youngest team in the league this will come with time.
How do you foresee ripping apart this team and building a winning franchise in time for the next week or so? Name the last time a massive trade has been made in the NHL? 2005/2006? They just don't happen - this isn't a video game or fantasy hockey.
Goaltending isn't the issue with the team at the moment. Dubnyk is a decent goaltender. Not elite but who is going to trade you an elite goaltender?
Who are the players on our team that aren't real NHLers that this team is being built around?
Again, I get your frustration, I just don't see the Oilers management having missed out on a lot of moves that other teams management made that would make the Oilers a materially better team today.
My personal opinion is that this is part of the growing pains of the rebuild - Oilers have a lot of talent but they need to learn what it takes to win in the NHL. And it's more than just skill - at some point I think this will click.