Edmonton Media turns on Connor McDavid

February 10, 2022  (10:43 PM)

Today the Oilers fired David Tippett marking the 4th coach Connor McDavid has had in his Oilers career, well it now seems the Edmonton media is turning on both Connor and Leon.

EDMONTON - Of all the reasons, some real but far more perceived, that Dave Tippett was fired on Thursday, the one that stands out the most is this:
Remember when Tippett was hired, and some people worried that bringing in a defensive- minded coach like Tippett would stifle the prized offensive savants that stocked the Oilers' top lines?
"We draft No.and now we're going to bring in a defence- first guy?" they said.
"Look at his teams in Arizona," they said. "He'll ruin Connor McDavid!"
Well, as it all came to that predictable Edmonton ending for Tippett on Thursday, here is the irony: Dave "Lock 'Em Down" Tippett was fired because the Oilers never figured out how to play defence.
So what does it mean when a coach who has a proven track record of building a stout defensive spine into previous teams comes to Edmonton, and in three years hasa team that gives up Grade A chances like Oprah gives out cars? Or for that matter, when Todd McLellan leaves Edmonton in failure and moves on to coach the L.A. Kings to unexpected success?
Does it mean Tippett, and fired assistant Jim Playfair, forgot everything they knew about how to coach a team to play a proper defensive NHL game? Or perhaps after most of three seasons, did a roster that could not or would not accept anything other than star-driven, stats-hungry hockey finally, stubbornly stop listening?
Connor McDavid uses his surreal speed to fly the zone and scorer highlight-reel goals, but not often enough to prevent chances in his own zone. He's great with the puck, but without it McDavid who has spoken of his need to defend better, and has made strides still couldn't carry Sid Crosby's equipment bag.
He could, if he wanted to. If McDavid ever wants to win, he'd better learn to want to. Leon Draisaitl could be the best all-around player on this team. Quite possibly the facto captain. But when a team has wild swings like the Oilers have had win six, lose seven, lose six, win four it appears rudderless.
We're not in the room, so we don't know for sure. But when a team is this streaky, we believe the top players (like Draisait) should be able to stabilize the effort. To achieve buy- in. To bring players like Jesse Puljujarvi- who has been entirely lost for two months into the fold.
Does a new coach bring in new ideas?
Sure. They all did.
Will it end the same way for the next guy?
If the best players don't lead the change buying in on trying to win a Stanley Cup, not a bunch of Harts and Art Ross's it's only a matter of time until we're writing this same column again.
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