It is eerie, perhaps maddening, how cool, calm and collected the Edmonton Oilers can be after a disgraceful performance such as the 8-1 pasting they absorbed Saturday night against the Calgary Flames. They certainly were like that after the loss to the Flames, reflective, apologetic, perplexed. But hardly enraged. To their credit, the players were all at their stalls when the media slouched in to collect some quotes about the latest fiasco. They faced the music and, good for them, for what it’s worth. Taylor Hall, he of the hurled water bottle that splashed head coach Dallas Eakins on national TV, calmly said the players are not embarrassed by the loss, but that he must manage his emotions more effectively. Goaltender Ben Scrivens offered himself up as a target for verbal abuse, even the odd stream of spittle from an enraged fan, but please, respect the team’s sacred jersey. One player angrily, profanely suggested support staff close the locker-room door, the better to shut out the noisy, angry rumble of the fans milling about on the concourse. I was thinking, leave the door open, the players might learn something. Maybe somebody should start shouting, tossing the stick rack, overturning the trash cans in the locker-room. Show some emotion. That sort of eruption must be especially frowned on now that the Oilers are housed in that schmancy showpiece of a locker-room. Pity, that. Eakins offered the hope this ugly loss was a “blip on the radar.” Some blip; some radar. The game followed on the heels of an indifferent performance to the Buffalo Sabres which, to be fair, came after the team fashioned a 10-4-3 record in recent weeks. More damning, the 8-1 shellacking was the worst loss the Oilers ever suffered at home to their provincial rivals. But, listen, anybody can talk a good game after the fact. Sadly, the Oilers seem to be experts at it.
Oilers probably haven’t hit rock bottom yet
Edmonton Journal | Mar 24