Thoughts on the Oilers: Coaching Stability; MacTavish; Quick Wins

Source: The Leafs Nation

Source: The Leafs Nation

Another home, shutout loss this week, which leaves the Oilers at 4-14-2. This team looks to be on pace to reach some all time lows. Brutal.

Coaching Stability

At this point, it would make little sense to fire Dallas Eakins. I agree that if this were any other team, a coaching change would be made. But the Oilers have gone through enough coaches over the past few years, that this would only add to the instability behind the bench.

The Detroit Red Wings, one of the most consistent franchises in professional sports, have always stressed the importance of stability both at the player and management level. Since 1993, the Red Wings have had four coaches. The current coach, Mike Babcock, has been there since 2005.  The Oilers on the other hand have had 10 different coaches since 1993. Eakins is the fifth Oilers head coach since 2008. Factor in the assistant and off-ice coaches, and you have way too much instability for young players to develop.

Think it’s important to remember how each coach brings different tactics, practice plans, etc., and that players always need time to adjust. I’m not defending the horrid start, it really is unacceptable. But a coach does need time to prove what they’re capable of. Too often, the needs of the team are trumped by what the fans want. It’s a difficult balance, but in this case it’s a better decision to let Eakins work things out.


The GM did an excellent job yesterday taking attention away from the struggling roster and coaching staff by holding a press conference. Really, there’s nothing new to report, but he sparked a  ton of useless content regardless. Everything that he said was already known: the Oilers were trying to land a defencemen at the 2013 Entry Draft; future picks will be used to get roster players, likely a defenceman; and this team is terrible defensively.

Oilers vs Flames on Hockey Night in Canada

If fans are agitated by the horrible start, I can’t imagine what a loss to the Flames this weekend will do. This is one of those games that the Oilers can win to calm the angry mob, mainly because it’s Calgary and it’s on Hockey Night in Canada. Doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things but it’s one of those “quick wins” that would appease the fans for a day or two. 

Recommended Links

The Detroit Red Wings and How to be Successful in the Long Run – Forbes

Wings GM Holland says stability, patience key to building winner – Windsor Star

Why firing your coach in a rebuild is nonsensical – Yahoo! Puck Daddy

The Coach – OilersNation

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