With the news today that Steve Tambellini has given Craig MacTavish the dreaded “vote of confidence” we can now begin ticking off the events that could lead to the end of the line for Edmonton’s head coach.
Later tonight, Kevin Lowe will be on the radio to defend his friend. We can look forward to hearing a passionate defense, maybe a shot or two at people who don’t march in lock step with management and perhaps that word again (throttle. I think we need a mascot with that moniker). No matter what, expect a giant FU to those who question MacT’s position from the CEO of the hockey side.
But the real key will be the on-ice performance. The Oilers play tomorrow at noon up the street from Chuck Berry’s house and Sunday they are in Dallas to play at the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza.
If they come out of the weekend looking like death warmed over, we can begin to talk about a replacement. Huge weekend for this team, all hands on deck. MacT doesn’t have home ice advantage and he’s thrown some men under the bus. He’s also given many of these guys their jobs and some (several) of them might not be in the NHL if another coach had been at the helm of the Oilers since the turn of the century.
But this team is in some trouble right now, going the wrong way and have developed some bad habits. Even with everyone saying the right things, 4 points this weekend is probably a long shot. I’m reminded of a quote by the old Montreal Expos second baseman Vance Law. Law once said “when you’re in a slump, it’s almost as if you look out at the field and it’s one big glove.”
For Craig MacTavish’s sake, here’s hoping they hit ‘em where they ain’t this weekend.