Hello Cigar lounge. I am here to talk about the Edmonton Oilers. In the last 19 games they've played, they lost 18.
They "play" in the NHL. But the word play might be a bit of an overstatement. Last night they blew a 3 goal lead in the 3rd period against the 2nd worst defensive team in the league the Dallas Stars.
(Update: For clarity I edited and merged what were previously paragraphs 4 & 5 about 3 days after this was published)
The former coach Dallas Eakins got the blame for this abysmal performance and got the can about 3 games ago. But to be honest, although in hockey the rule is either blame the goalie or blame the coach I suspect Dallas is a pretty good coach, and Edmonton's sucking is mostly not his fault. Sure Eakins is young, but he had a pretty good record coaching Toronto's AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies.
Edmonton's problems run so deep that it is sort of a chicken and egg problem. Yes they don't score many goals, have terrible defense, and no goal tending, but which of these problems are causes and which are symptoms??
The real cause of the Oilers woes is their utter lack of defense. For years, Edmonton has drafted small european style forwards. The cause of this problem is the GM's keep drafting small skilled forwards. Guys like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Nails Yakupov, and on and on and on. Of course those guys are all great players, and I am not saying small forwards can't be effective. They most certainly can be given the right circumstances. However the Edmonton Oilers are pretty much the exact wrong circumstances. You have a ton of these small forward guys, no enforcement, no defense, and no goaltending.
They only drafted one halfway decent defensemen, Darnell Nurse and he's back in Sault Ste Marie with the Greyhounds.
Ference is their top D whom according to my friend Mike "Wouldn't be on the top 4 in any other team in the league". The rest of their top 4 is even worse filled with guys straight out junior. You need some junior players to keep your team growing and I get that, but they cannot be your top defensemen. The other player in the top 4 is a guy named Mark Fayne, who would be about 6th or 7th on any other team in the league.
So Edmonton, instead of firing coaches, trade some of your small european forwards for a bunch of big bad defensemen. You need someone like Drew Doughty. You're not going to get him, but get as close as you can. Your forwards whom are talented are not going to want to lose forever. Nugent Hopkins (contract ends 2020), Eberle (2018) and Hall (2019) are all in the middle of a six or seven year deals. Gagner signed a 3 year in 2013.
Once these contracts end, they're going to want to leave so they can win some games. So Edmonton trade on or two while you still can!! Those players have a lot of upshot on a team close to the margin. Unless you plan on being atrocious for another 5 or 6 years.
Let put the final word in allegorically....even with the best coach, you need some balance, some talent on the team. The Edmonton Oilers are running a Forumla Ford car, in a Forumla One race. No wonder they're getting lapped.