Well once again the Edmonton Oilers were outclassed by the Dallas Stars. The game was another snooze fest with the Stars sleepwalking to a 3-1 win. I shouldn't say the Stars were sleepwalking, they played a solid game. The Oilers just didn't seem to be all that interested in playing hockey. The Oilers were definitely dreaming of somewhere else, Palm Springs perhaps! I've seen PeeWee players move the puck with more zip than what I saw tonight. NHL stats record hits, shots and even blocked shots; it's a shame they don't record incomplete passes like they do in football.
I think the NFL has something there; usually teams with the best pass completion ends up winning the game. Don't forget about the running game; it's not pretty but it works. Oh wait, I almost forgot about the defense. Rumour has it that playing a strong defensive game will result in more wins. I didn't realize that there was so much strategy involved with such a brutish sport.
Hang on, isn't hockey played by a bunch of brainless brutes? Perhaps there is some sort of relationship between hockey and football. If the Oilers could complete passes while moving up the ice they might be able to enter the other team's zone. Stretch and drop passes would work and so would running the ball. Whoops, I meant dumping the puck; even Tim Tebow has to run the ball once in awhile. That's right Hallsie and Hemsky, dump the puck. I'm fairly sure your comrade Horcoff could show you how.
I almost forgot about the defense. It would be nice if the goaltending could win us a game from time to time. Maybe goalie coach Freddie Chabot could strap on the pads, he's not much older than the Bulin Wall. Why stop there, blueline coach Steve Smith would be a great addition. The backend would certainly be meaner, didn't they use to call him bone crusher? Tape to tape passes would be nice. Just make sure Steve doesn't handle the puck behind the net. Keep those passes short and let the forwards do the work with the occasional stretch pass. That's right Jeff Petry, not every pass has to be a thing of beauty. Tonight, we certainly missed Tom Gilbert's passing ability, but then again there would have been more defensive miscues. Defense isn't just defenseman, it's the whole team, coaches included.
So let's get those coaches involved!
I realize this is a young team and we have some serious deficiencies in the lineup, but who doesn't? Tom Renney knows far more about the game than I do yet I can see the breakdowns occurring before they happen. If I can see them, you better believe the Hitchcocks and Babcocks of the hockey world can too. These boys have been around for awhile and continue to be the innovators of the game. For the Oilers to be successful they need to be creative, instead of succumbing to knee-jerk, reactive type moves like firing Renney and going out and hiring another hockey coach. Think outside the box and hire someone who doesn't coach hockey. I hear John Madden is looking for a career change.
What does this article have to do with the firing of coach Tom Renney? Not much really, it has more to do with how often the Oilers are out-coached. I'm not advocating that the Oilers should fire Tom Renney; but I am suggesting a change in coaching tactics. Play to your strengths tailored to your opponents game. Change it up with different forechecks or breakouts. These guys have played enough hockey to handle more that one system. Simply changing up the lines doesn't change the way your opponents play the game.