In his comments following Saturday night's loss, I got the impression that Oilers head coach Todd McLellan didn't seem like a particularly happy fellow, and that he might have been just a little bit frustrated by the effort given by his players. That was game 71 of the season, he'd certainly seen his team play worse, in fact for a period or so they even looked okay. But okay wasn't close to good enough and for the second time in a week he'd ended watching his team get run over on home ice - in this case getting blanked by the Coyotes by a score of 4-0 - by a club that had played the night before. So if he was frustrated, I would understand why.
With the remaining games on the schedule having zero meaning in the standings, beyond what a win could mean to the team's draft position, all that's really left for the Oilers players this season is to audition for next season. For some that audition isn't about trying to secure an NHL job, but rather for a job in Edmonton. As the Oilers are about to enter a brand new building there is likely more pressure than ever to build a winner, or at the very least a team that could be considered competitive on a nightly basis. And for that to happen changes are going to be made during the offseason. If players want to be part of this team beyond this season it might help to show the coach that you still care even when the games mean nothing.
Although tonight's opponent, the Nashville Predators, didn't play last night, they are closing out a five game, ten day road trip that's seen them visit Colorado and every Canadian city in the Western Conference. That's a situation that is maybe not as good as a team on the second of back-to-back games but the Predators are still a team that's likely a little tired and one that the Oilers can try to take advantage of. Maybe they won't be able to, the Predators are 20 points better in the standings so if they couldn't it would surprise nobody, but at least if they could play like the team played like they cared, then maybe their coach might be slightly less upset when he talks to the media after the game.