Saturday, October 24, 2015

Washington Capitals clean out Oiler's ears.

Winning is wonderful, there is nothing quite like it.  Just ask Charlie Sheen, his hookers and coke dealer.  When it comes to a hockey team like the Oilers, full of first round picks winning is something they haven't felt for a long time.  For the first time in forever the team is actually competitive.. well most nights.  The rub with a young team is winning also makes players deaf to coaching which is what happened last night against the Washington Capitals.

When the Oilers were winning they were cutting the ice in half, making the passing lanes smaller, clogging up the good scoring areas.  Last night there was a ton of room to pass the puck, to drive the net, to do whatever Washington wanted.  There was no physical presence to deter them.  On offence they seemed to lose a lot more battles than they won.  If you are going to dump and chase, you better get the puck or punish someone with a hit.  Too often the Oilers were soft when trying to get the puck from dump.  Making half hearted efforts.  There was a complete lack of willingness to engage the caps by our top six forwards.  When they got shots away too often they missed the net resulting in the puck leaving the zone.   

McLellan wanted to know how his team responded after winning a little.  Predictably the young Oilers when they win seem hear coaches less and press clippings more.  They start playing marshmallow hockey because playing winning hockey hurts and is hard to do, something young teams have to learn to do consistently.  There are no nights off when you make 6 figures.  Winning will never feel physically good because to win in hockey your body will end up bruised and battered.   Hall can be bullied which is how you keep him to the outside.  He lacks the Messier mean gene which he will need to find if he wants more open space.  Yakupov still likes to do cute crap when the times when he has success are when he keeps his game simple.  Instead of playing solid positionally too much dipsy doodle from top six forwards like they are in junior and can do things the wrong way and still win based on skill alone.  In junior you can be soft, not go into the hard areas, or sacrifice their body by hurling it at bigger opponents and still win.  The thing is they are not in junior and everyone in the NHL can play the game at a high level.   Every inch of ice against good teams like the Caps you have to fight for and be willing to pay the physical price, something the pretty boy first round picks of the Oilers were not willing to do.  

The good news for Oiler fans is the occasional lose can be good for a young team.  Nothing cleans the ears out like getting your ass whipped.  Now the team will be able to hear McLellan when he instructs them on how to play the game the right way.  Tis the up and down rollercoaster of learning to win consistently.  

Exciting times to be an Oiler fan and all you chumps who said the Oilers should of drafted Eichel over McDavid after 3 games... there is no cure for stupid.

The Iceman

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