Do the Oil still have a chance? The fan in me hopes they do, and they do if they run the table on their remaining 5 games. But....will they? Can they?
Maybe MacT should try ask for a measurement on Thorton's stick tonight?
Anyways, check out this interesting article by John Mackinnon at the Journal regarding Mactavish's future and why firing him is not in the best interests of the Oilers. My favorite part of it:
"MacTavish is a first-class coach; the list of his betters is a short one, indeed."
He has 299 wins in 651 games (299-249-47-56 record, w-l-t-otl). He's made the playoffs in 3 of 8 (soon 9?) years and the only playoff rounds that were won were in 2006.
First class indeed! Not that many have better winning percentages, right?
No mention of any of his missteps this year, no mention of playing players out of position, no mention of stubborn treatment of certain players, no mention of mismanaging his goalies, no mention of certain veteran players that MacT played ad nauseum even though they were ineffective, no mention of any of that yet he brings up Penner specifically.
Enough! Penner is not the problem. He is more the solution than the problem. Put him back on the top line. The top line gets results when he plays there!
While I do think MacT is a smart hockey coach, he is certainly not one of the best out there and you can say he didn't have the bodies this year all you want but he thought he did at the start of the year. MacT stated they would compete for the division title. He believed the team was good enough. Sure, we'd all prefer that Lowe/Tambellini had provided another face-off man, signed only 2 goalies and had found a better shut down defenseman rather than Strudwick. But MacT had his voice in the decision-making. He played a big part of the past two years; make no mistake!
Back to tonight's game: to stand a chance, they need to kill some penalties (they went 25% against Anaheim, ouch) and score on the powerplay. AND, try not to be the dead walking in the second period. A full 60 minutes please!!