Friday, December 19, 2008

The Blame Game.


Now, I am not a fan of the blame game. Yet people's opinions are being tossed around all willy nilly and things are seeming to be out of touch with the reality of what is actually going to happen. Who do I blame for the Oilers troubles? Not who you think. Read on.


Craig MacTavish

- I know that most people really believe that it is the coaches fault. Is it? Really? I don't think so. I quite like MacT as a coach. Sure his style is a little unorthodox but it works when the players buy into it. He definitely is more of a younger guy coach. His way of helping Gagner and Cogs seems to be on track and working. I am curious on how Steve MacIntyre is going to look when he comes back. He's been working hard at doing whatever the coaching staff has asked. In Bobby Nilsson's case, it's hard to coach someone that really has no effort or desire to get better. I don't think that MacT really has control over the older players (Moreau, Horcoff, Hemsky) If he did he would have put Hemsky on the left side and Cole on his right. But Hemmer says no and the answer is no. End of story. I really believe that it takes Mact a little to long to figure out the older players and how to use them (ie: Peca). Cole has been very manageable this year and I'm sure that is going to help him during the next few months as we move along towards the playoffs. I really think that Cole is going to be a huge impact player by the time we are heading into the playoffs. (we will be in the playoffs this year) So for more reasons than I want to or feel like writing, MacT will NOT be fired this year. If we tank and not make the playoffs then he will resign after the season is over. I repeat. He will NOT be fired this year. Besides... how many coaches are ready to jump a plane and move to Edmonton? Not too many I would think.

Ok. Let's just say for example... I am a crappy worker (player). I come to work and kinda sorta do a little sweeping. I then read the paper for a bit. Then I walk around pretending to be busy. Then I go to the bathroom for 20 minutes. Then oh! Lunch time. Cya in an hour. Then my Foreman (coach) pulls me into his office. He gives me the "we need to be more productive" speech. "Ok. Loud and clear", I say. Then this continues for a couple of days. I seem to get the speech every 2 days for a week. The store manager (GM) starts to see me wandering around. He starts wondering what I am up to. How am I making him any money. Now the company owner (Mr. $$$$) gets wind of this. He's pissed off. So tell me. Who should be fired?

The Store Manager (GM)? Perhaps. He did hire me for $20 an hour. But not likely.

How about the Foreman (coach). Should he be fired because I suck? Maybe. Although he did try and inspire me and really you can only help someone for so long before you come to a realization that the guy that was hired is a moron.

So who ends up being canned? Me (the player) I can blame management all I want. But I suck. So I deserve to be fired. Unfortunately that can't really happen in the NHL. Buy outs are costly. And it's hard to trade nothing for something.

So what am I getting at here? Blame the players for being crappy. It's not always the coach. I'm not saying that Mact hasn't screwed up. He has a few times. I'm just saying it not his fault. Just ask Tampa Bay. or the Islanders.



Kevin Lowe
- Despite the little story that you just read. In this case I do blame Kevin Lowe for 50% of the teams woes. He is the one responsible for bringing in talent and he's the one who makes the deals. In a hockey world this position is very important. A coach can only do so much with what he has. Sure the Oilers are stacked with talent. Small talent for the most part. But that is really a small reason. Well... half the reason.
When the leaders of the team are struggling then the rest of the team struggles too. This isn't new. It happens in all sports. I am the coach/captain of my slo-pitch team. When I am "on", the rest of my team feeds off it and we play well. If I'm not going good then I can hardly expect anyone else to be. Right? I live by the motto "Leadership is Action... Not Position". Ask Messier. No action. No position. Therefore your team will stink too. For this I put the other 50% blame to these three guys.


Horcoff/Moreau/Staios

- These three are supposed to be the leaders. The amount of "power" these three have in the locker room is enormous. These three have not been living up to their leadership position. The last couple of games, Chopper has been good. But before then.... c-r-a-p-p-y. And he's the Captain. Sure I am sure he is good at organizing player functions and all the other crap he does, but we need an on ice leader. Any "A" can do what he does. But the "C" needs to be a game changer. He needs to be able to throw a huge hit or score a goal when you need it. And Moreau hasn't done that for the team.

Staios has not been very good this year. It kinda sucks that his spot is pretty golden. He takes bad penalties at bad times. Almost borderline over aggressive. That is not what a leader is supposed to do. Not one that I would want to play with anyways. I believe that he needs to be moved.

Now Mr. Horcoff. Mr. Money Pants. I liked the 3rd line $2 million dollar Horcoff better. That guy played like he wanted to be 1st line guy. I just see no real effort from him this year. He was a good pk guy. Now he's an ok pk guy. On the PP he is a one trick pony. And other teams now know what he does. That is why last game he wasn't effective. I wonder why people that get big contracts always suck for the first couple of years? The last year is always their best year. So that means we have the next three to four years of the crappy Horcoff. Yay! I always said that he was a great 3rd line guy. He was a good 2nd line guy. But he is an average 1st line guy. We need a awesome guy to be 1st line guy and that isn't Horcoff. So now what? Not sure. A trade? A demotion? That falls into Kevin Lowe's department, the other 50 %.

I'm sure I may have made some people mad at me because of this. But so be it. It's my opinion. And my opinion only. This is not written without thought. It just has been driving me nuts that people want MacT fired. It comes down to the core players. The veterans. Then it falls on Lowe. (how much authority does Tambellini really have here?) Bottom line... I support MacT. There. I said it.

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