With last night's 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Edmonton Oilers saw their record fall to 7-18-5 on the year and one can't help but wonder just how bad things might get over the next four months. That said, is this team really as bad as they appear to be or is it one that has simply had the life sucked out of them from years of losing? Regardless of which one it is, this group certainly does appear to be broken beyond repair.
Edmonton - December 13, 2014 - At this point, what can be said about the Edmonton Oilers that hasn’t already been said countless times over the last number of years?
With a roster that is simply not good enough to compete on a nightly basis in the National Hockey League, this group clearly does not have the mental makeup to try and at least make something out of what has truly become a new low point in franchise history.
While there is no shame in dropping a 4-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks, the fact this team continues to start games and periods in the fashion it does tells us everything we need to know.
They may talk a good game and outwardly give the appearance of being a bunch of guys who are sick and tired of losing games but their play out on that ice tells us a completely different story. It comes down to one of two things…they are either unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to get themselves out of this mess.
We can talk all we want about the number of mistakes this organization has made from a managerial and scouting standpoint over the last number of years or about the job Dallas Eakins has done over the last two seasons behind the bench and almost all of them would be valid. However they biggest blunder of all was placing “the core” of this so-called rebuild in an environment that was not conducive to learning and because of it, we are now here.
Here being a place in which the likes of a Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who are by far and away the two best players on this club, look to be almost incapable of doing nothing more than being a couple of really good players on a garbage team. While they undoubtedly have belief in themselves as individual players, they are no different than rest when it comes down to it.
There is simply no more fight left in this dog and it is painful to watch.
As difficult as this season has been to stomach, it is not as if this something new. Year in and year out, it has been the same thing and it eventually wears players down. Accepting your lot in life in a market like Florida is all well and good but that doesn’t fly in a hockey mad market like Edmonton, which makes this situation that much worse. While many will point to the fact that these players make “millions of dollars” and should just suck it up and be better, unfortunately, it is not that simple.
Contrary to what many seem to believe, these guys are actually trying but at the moment…this is the best they can muster up. As hard as that may be for us to comprehend, it does not change the reality of the situation. If you honestly think any athlete enjoys going out and having the crap kicked out of them on a daily basis, both on the field of play and in the court of public opinion, you are kidding yourself. There is no doubt this group needs to better but to suggest the Edmonton Oilers are nothing more than a bad hockey team would be doing the players inside that dressing room a major disservice.
With that said…this group certainly does appear to be broken beyond repair.
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