The fact the Edmonton Oilers were blown out 6-1 by the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night should have surprised absolutely no one but the fact Dallas Eakins decided to sit his best defenceman in Jeff Petry for no apparent reason was frankly mind-boggling. As another season appears to be quickly spiralling out of control, one has to wonder when Craig MacTavish and his head coach will have to answer for how things have played out.
Edmonton - October 15, 2014 - The fact the Edmonton Oilers were blown out 6-1 by the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night should have surprised absolutely no one.
This has become the norm when the Oilers face the defending Stanley Cup champs, as LA simply toys with them until they build a big enough lead and coast to an easy win.
Unless their netminder stands his head, just as Richard Bachman did during last year’s 2-1 shootout loss on October 27th, they quite literally have zero chance of competing against this team. With a healthy lineup this group can only hope and pray to not get killed and at the moment, they are starting to resemble a MASH unit.
We are now three games into the season and the Oilers already have both Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins nursing injuries and just saw Taylor Hall get crushed on numerous occasions during yesterday’s debacle. Could things possibly get any worse? The answer to that question is obvious…it already has and it has nothing to do with guys who are hurt.
While the fact many have questioned the reasoning behind the organization’s decision to start the year with Martin Marincin as a member of the Oklahoma City Barons instead of playing along the Dallas Eakins’ blueline, last night’s “choice” to sit Jeff Petry in favour of Darnell Nurse was downright flabbergasting. Come on now, why would any National Hockey League team want to dress their best defenceman against arguably the best team in the league.
Whatever the reason, barring injury, there is absolutely no excuse for making such a move. While Petry essentially missed all of training camp and was inexcusably used in a third pairing role against the Vancouver Canucks, after arguably being Edmonton’s best blueliner in the season opener against the Calgary Flames, surely has to send the following message to every player in that dressing room…winning hockey games is of no real importance to Mr. Daryl Katz and his management team.
Both Craig MacTavish and his head coach have gone on for what feels like an eternity about players needing to have “accountability” but isn’t that a bit of a tough sell when we see what saw last night? Should “accountability” not be a two-way street?
With all due respect to Mark Fayne, who is nowhere near as good as some have made him out to be but still a solid NHL rearguard, Petry is so much better than any player the Oilers currently employee along their blueline that it is almost laughable. And yet, he was the guy comes out against the Kings? Come on gentleman, don’t insult our intelligence.
The moment MacTavish decided to sign the twenty-six year old to a one year deal with pending unrestricted free agency staring him in the face, the outcome was obvious. They clearly don’t think he is worth the money he will get out on the open market and they are entitled to do exactly that…as idiotic as that may be. However, doing what they have done is a complete and utter joke and it will have a negative impact on the players in that dressing room….guaranteed.
As we are now a full year into the Craig MacTavish – Dallas Eakins Experiment, trying to blame everything on Steve Tambellini, Tom Renney and Ralph Krueger can no longer be this organizations mantra. This is your mess gentleman…either make a real effort to try and fix it or let someone else take a stab at it. Enough is enough already.
Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org