MacT quotes from last night’s After Hours

By , April 28, 2013 6:06 pm

MacT celebrating a Toby Petersen shift

MacT celebrating a Toby Petersen shift

I have more and more respect for Craig MacTavish, and I feel the team is in very good hands under his management. Yes, the team should have considered other options, and I’m a little tired of the old boys club here, but I always considered Craig MacTavish to be a very intelligent hockey mind. Anyways.. the quotes…

When asked if he was surprised that the Oilers fell apart when they were in the fight for a playoff spot…
“As close as we were, I never had a tonne of confidence in our ability to get there (playoffs), because we seldom control the momentum swings in a game, which you need to if you’re a playoff hockey team. The other team always controlled the really critical moments when they had to. We had a great shot differential in most of the games, which is generally a pretty good indicator of team strength. The positive part of that is we didn’t need a lot of chances to score and there’s not a lot of teams that can say that.”

When asked about the biggest flaws of the Oilers team, he mentioned that the core guys could use improvement in their game without the puck, but went on more about the other players on the team – the role guys….
“And I think our role players have to be… I thought this year, to be kind of frank, that a lot of guys on our team on any given night were accepting of not being a positive factor.. or really doing something to contribute to the win or make a difference. That’s just not Oiler hockey, really. You have to be a positive factor in the game, and you can’t just go out there and not be involved in the game, or not show that you’re going to compete for your teammates, or go in the locker room and take your gear off and get ready for the next game. I just felt that our role players needed to be more impactful in the games. Maybe not impactful is the right word. But in the game of hockey you have to the opportunity every shift to go out and show that you’re going to go and do what you need to do to help the guy sitting beside you. I don’t think there was enough of that and for that reason I think it’s a bit of a shared responsibility for everybody.”

Hrudey noted that at the press conference, MacTavish mentioned he wasn’t a very patient person, and asked how this would benefit the team to change its future:
“I think we’re at the stage now where you go from almost a neglect style (of management) in a rebuilding mode to, at some point, you have to get into a more aggressive style of play and be more aggressive in the way we manage the team. I think we’re very much there. Everybody’s got to accept some responsibility to this. I really view my job is to make some moves here that clearly identify for the players what we’re looking for in terms of the personnel and the style of play and commitment and doing that will make a big difference.”

The key word in that one is “neglect”. Not sure if that was a shot at Tambellini, but I don’t think so. But it sure put into perspective what this management teams’ philosophy was before the MacTavish hiring. I said it all along.. Tambellini wasn’t avoiding filling holes because he couldn’t. It sounds from this quote that the plan, for whatever reason, had been to just sit back and see what happens and let the problems fix themselves, if they can, or accept another early draft pick. I think everyone would agree that this year should have been anything but that.. they should have tried to make this team competitive, but Tambellini was still in “neglect mode”. I think we’ll see a big difference under MacT’s management. I hope I’m not wrong.

Don’t let the door hit you…

By , April 28, 2013 2:18 pm
You know this article isn't going to be flattering..

You know this article isn’t going to be flattering..

So Ryan Whitney burned his bridges to the ground today. Not a lot was said, but it was clear he wasn’t just upset at himself for not giving himself the opportunity to play (through good play). I thought all year that this was what he meant in a lot of his comments to the media about being upset about not playing.. turns out I was wrong. It turns out he is pissed at the Oilers.

Well, I was wrong about what Whitney said, but I don’t think I was wrong about the player. He was once good, but his foot problems have made him an awful player for the Oilers. Could he be good somewhere else? Possibly. He could probably get away with playing lots of powerplay time, and playing even strength time with a guy who can save him from embarrassment when his flaws (namely agility and foot speed) are exposed. But here, he was a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. He showed flashes of brilliance towards the end, but sorry, it was too little too late. The Oilers have to purify themselves of these types of players. They need guys they can rely on nearly 100% (preferably exactly 100%) throughout the season. With Whitney, we had a solid d-man for about 10% of this short year… never mind what we’d get out of a full year. He’s done here, and both sides should be happy about it. Did he need to throw the team under the bus in his exit interview? I don’t think so. Here is what was said:

“I’m not going to name any names, but there were definitely some other guys who could have been scratched.”


“I’m hoping to sign on a really good team. I’ve made enough money and I’m hoping to prove them(Oilers) wrong.”

Really, the 2nd quote is fine, but the first quote is pretty piss poor, if you ask me. I’m not sure what gave him the misunderstanding that his play has been anything better than sub-average, on average for the last 2 years at least, but to take his (former) teammates down while on his way out, is just sour grapes. Yah, he didn’t name names, but I don’t think that helps any. We can speculate who he was talking about, however I’d rather not.

Anyways, the thing I like most about this is that it ensures he won’t be back. I hate seeing more black marks on the organization (think Sheldon Souray’s handling), but if he thinks that he was scratched unfairly, he’s dead wrong. He was poor for most of the year.. it wasn’t until a handful of games near the end that we saw him really do anything positive, and by then it was too little too late. He was a far cry from the good player we saw when we first picked him up, unfortunately.

I believe that Ryan Whitney will get picked up.. it will be for cheap… and he will play fairly well and be a good bargain for his new team. But this is a break-up that was quite overdo.

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