The Edmonton Oilers (8-7-1) returned home to welcome the Colorado Avalanche (7-6-3) Sunday night. The Oilers were looking to snap a three-game skid, while the Avalanche were looking to end a losing streak of their own.
And they did. They ended their losing streak. All it cost them was extending Edmonton’s.
First, Second & Third Periods
The Oilers conceded on the second shot they faced tonight and that would be that. The Avalanche outplayed the Oilers throughout, until the lead ballooned to four goals. At that point, the home side finally showed some life, and eventually found their one and only tally of the evening: a Ty Rattie shin bone redirect from an Adam Larsson wrist shot in the third period. Real high level stuff.
This would be about it for positives this evening, unless you consider this performance to be so woeful that someone might lose their job over it. There may be a silver lining here. It has become clear to this observer (your correspondent hears that this sort of verbiage gets you into the HHOF) that Todd McLellan’s best bet for helping the Oilers is to offer his resignation. His usage is puzzling. His deployment is questionable. His discipline is, at best, inconsistent. Other than Connor McDavid, can you point to even one other young player who improved under his tutelage? Even one?
What’s crazy about all this, though, is that the bulk of what’s wrong with the Oilers today isn’t even his fault. I don’t think he’s a good coach, but I also don’t think it’s fair to put the brunt of the Oilers failings on his shoulders. His boss, Peter Chiarelli, has let him down. He has fed him to the wolves after first starving and provoking those wolves. He has thrown him beneath the bus after first filling that bus with money and then giving all of that money to Kris Russell. He has asked him to count to five while popping his fingers off like a WEM waterslide. He has told him to get $20 worth of chips, smokes and pepperonis with only $5 worth of right handed defenseman. He has asked him to long divide the letter V by zero.
And soon, he will ask him to hump this grenade for him. Soon, he will ask McLellan to take his last scrum in the taxpayer-funded media room at Rogers Place. Soon after, he’ll tell us the next man charged with overseeing the most precious resource in pro hockey: Connor McDavid. Then he’ll tell us with a straight face that this is all part of his plan. The one from the summer? You know, it’s just another move he’ll eventually come to feel good about. Like it had to be done.
What Peter Chiarelli has done to this organization’s present is borderline criminal. The future he has denied Oilers fans was a wonderful one and he should be fired before he has an opportunity to install the next coach. It’s a big decision, and if his track record is anything to go by, he can’t be trusted to make those.
CF%: 46-28 62.16%
FF%: 31-23 57.41%
SCF%: 20-16 55.56%
HDCF%: 7-6 53.85%
Shares were about ~50% until it was 4-0. Far too little, far too late. I’m sorry if you didn’t see the game and were hoping for a better recap. I promise, you didn’t miss anything.
The Oilers get the surprising and actually good Montreal Canadiens (9-5-3) team on Tuesday. 7PM MST. Til then.