Frustration is growing with the Edmonton Oilers
Following the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night loss, it’s clear that frustration has indeed reached a boiling point.
Expectations this year was high for the Oilers who for a second time in three years raced out to a perfect 5-0 start, which this year they turned into an impressive 16-5-0 record a quarter into the season.
Oilers’ fans were excited about a possible long playoff run down the road as life was great until the calendar turned to December.
During the past month or so which has seen the Oilers endure a current six game losing streak and posting a 2-10-2 record after their fast start, strong speculation has grown in the media about whether they should fire current head coach Dave Tippett.
Meanwhile there has also been criticism about the Oilers back-up goaltending specifically aimed at veteran Mikko Koskinen. Recently, following an early January 4-1 loss at Madison Square Gardens against the New York Rangers, Tippett didn’t sugar coat the performance of Koskinen to the press. Specifically, on the first Rangers goal.
“It’s a brutal mistake, what are you going to do?” Tippett said in reference to a misplay by Koskinen. “Call it what it is. We’re playing well, it’s a brutal mistake.” The coach also said, “I thought we did a lot of things well tonight. Our goaltender wasn’t very good, and we didn’t find enough pucks at the net to get us back in the game.”
Shortly afterwards a frustrated Koskinen turned up the heat in Edmonton when he expressed to a Finnish reporter,
“It’s not nice being thrown under the bus. I have to be better but at the same time we scored seven goals in my last six loses. I can’t score goals.”
The Oilers, who are going through what is their second six game losing streak of the campaign, are quickly seeing what is a season spiraling out of control as they are now six points behind the San Jose Sharks who currently hold down the final spot.
Things hit rock bottom when on Saturday, January 15th, Edmonton surrendered five third period goals at home against the Ottawa Senators in an eventual 6-5 heartbreaking loss.
A couple of days later following practice, Oilers star forward Leon Draisaitl made news following a tense media exchange with Hockey Hall of Fame Oilers reporter Jim Matherson.
During the media conference Matherson was asking Draisaitl questions about the six- game losing streak when the German born star forward began giving short terse answers.
At one- point Draisaitl replied, “Yeah, we have to get better at everything.” When Matherson asked if he would like to expand on that the Oilers forward answered,
“No. You can do that. You know everything.”
In standing up for himself Matherson then asked Draisaitl, why he was being so “pissy” before telling the player that these aren’t very good answers.
This veteran reporter then went ahead and asked the question, “Leon, you show your frustration on the ice last game against Ottawa. Is that a good thing when you show it so the other team knows you’re frustrated?”
Draisaitl then said in a smart aleck tone,
“Yeah it’s a great thing for sure.”
Needless to say, things are definitely sparring out of control for the Oilers who came into the season riding such high expectations.