I think this photo says it all. Is he responding to the game last night or questions about his future in Edmonton?
Another disaster loss for the Oilers last night where Conklin earns a shutout. One word: embarrassing. Where was this prowess when we needed it Conks?? And Pisani is out 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle. That sums up their play last night: broken! They had their chances (again) but couldn't convert. How often do you get a 2-1 on the powerkill and not hit the net? All the time if you are the Oilers. If you're the Oilers, you get another 2-1 seconds later and get off a weak shot. Roli played well, made 37 saves but needs some help. I'm thinking we should let him carry the puck and see how he does on the powerplay.
Souray played his worst game last night. He took a dumb penalty when already down a man and just can't adapt on the powerplay. When you are stationary, the shot from the point is easy to block (as we saw last night) and you end up losing control of the puck. When they moved the puck from point to point, with crisp passes, the shot from the point gets through and a decent chance is had.
So are the wagons circling? Is the writing on the all? Are the final credits rolling? I don't think MacT's days are numbered today, but if this continues for another week, it can't be far off. You don't want to wait too long. They're still within striking distance. I think he is an intelligent coach and he has done some nice things for the Oilers. Until this year, the team was usually solid defensively and had a killer powerkill. He developed the fringe players into solid NHL'ers.
But if you look at his record closely, it really isn't outstanding after 7 years in Edmonton. 4 years the team missed the playoffs, they lost in the first round twice and of course the 2006 year run to the finals. That run to the finals saved his job and gave him some breathing room for the past two seasons. It can't all be placed on his head: injuries and holes in the team are part of the problem for the past two years. However, the team is healthy this year and the cast of characters is excellent and probably one of the better Oilers teams since the early 1990s (or has the potential to be).
While people might whine about the job Lowe has done in the past two years (I don't agree with that assessment completely but that's another post), Lowe stepped up to the plate this summer, hit a grand slam and gave his coach the best team he's ever had. It's now up to the coach to put the pieces together and quit trying to put a square peg in a round hole (Penner is not a third line defensive player, Moreau is not a powerplay option nor a first liner, Gagner should be put back to the wing and reunited with his kid line, and no more PK, fix the three-headed goalie monster and give Garon a start).
The Oilers are in Columbus (another back-to-back game, thanks NHL scheduling) and we'll see what the team and coach is made of tonight. Is anyone hopeful?