I’ve written about Craig MacTavish a lot on this blog, but fear MacT will soon be a blast from the past. Edmonton’s coach has his share of detractors on the Al Gore invention but I’ll thank you not to count me as one of them.
The Edmonton Oilers are a team with many unanswered questions, a team with many facts that seem to be at cross purposes, a team that is paid at the cap to play like crap.
In the words of the very talented Johnny Mercer, Something’s Gotta Give.
Kevin Lowe was talking in the paper today about the Oilers needing to work on the studio mix of the third and fourth lines (nothing about throttling today, though) and GM Steve Tambellini was busy at the airport sending out Tim Sestito.
Craig MacTavish? After his team went through the motions last night he said “it’s clear the will was there” and maybe he even believed it. I think he probably saw it in some of the veterans (Lubo, Moreau, Souray, Staios, Roloson, Horcoff, Hemsky) and some of the kids were working (Cogliano, Gagner, Gilbert). However, it looked to me like there were more than a few passengers on the runaway train last night in Edmonton.
So we’re left with these facts that seem to run up against each other. We can say “something’s gotta give” but the response is “Katz is a good friend of Lowe and MacT and there’s no chance either gets fired.”
And that’s good, but then comes the question “what if they keep on losing, despite being a cap team?” and after awhile it becomes obvious that in the history of organized sports (not a long period, mind you, but enough to draw some conclusions) it falls to the coach to take the hit during a lost season.
Why? Well you can’t fire the team and they just hired Steve Tambellini to be GM so it makes little sense to get rid of him. I’m not convinced MacT is the culprit here but do believe he’ll be the one to go.
Is it certain? No, this team has talent and could go on a run. They did in 2005-06 at a time when the coach was in just about the same spot he is now. What’s the difference between then and now? The Oilers had one specific problem (goaltending) and six guys who had shoot the moon contracts. The theme for this edition of the Oilers seems to be “paid in full, awaiting delivery.”