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Oilers’ Jones: ‘The players lose yet coaches, management take the blame’

Jan 25, 2014, 2:02 AM EDT

Phoenix Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers Getty Images

Ryan Jones had an assist for the Edmonton Oilers in a losing cause Friday, then went to bat for the coaches and management team in what has been a disastrous season.

The Oilers lost to the visiting Phoenix Coyotes by a final score of 4-3. They surrendered four goals through the first 23 minutes of the evening, then tried to pull off a third-period comeback that ultimately fell short. The Oilers now have only two wins in their last 10 games.

“I thought we rebounded fairly well but it’s happened all too often. We wait until we get down in order to put the pressure on. It almost seems like we put ourselves in a situation where we have nothing to lose and then we start playing,” Jones told reporters following the game.

“It’s unacceptable. As a player you see the things that are said and written and it’s a pass-the-blame game. These guys in the back room, our coaches, our management, they don’t play the game. They send the guys out. And we play the same system as basically every other team in the NHL and it’s the players that lose and yet they (coaches and management) take the blame.

“It’s about time the guys in this locker room took a little bit of accountability on themselves and stop letting other people take the blame.”

Three days ago, Edmonton’s head coach Dallas Eakins, in his first year with the club after being one of the highly coveted available bench bosses last off-season, is aware that he could soon find himself out of a job given the results the Oilers continue to pile up.

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:38 AM

    He’s right but that’s the way Oilers management wants it, they don’t dare want to anger any of their young players.

    Management has to realize there’s a point where you go from being young, exciting team full of potential to an underachieving team that never was, the Oilers are getting close to that point.

    Somewhat off topic (but showing how Oilers management and people around the team view their players) longtime Oilers’ broadcaster Gene Principe was on the Fan 960 in Calgary today talking Oilers and how they could turn it around, he talked about how valuable all of their young players are and if they were to entertain trading Jordan Eberle they’d have to be getting someone like Malkin or PK Subban back….and he was dead serious!

    • joey4id - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Couple of things to add here. NHL management is well aware of the growing pains young players go through during their initial years of their career in the NHL. Laviolette was on the NHL network (it was nice to see him back in the game) talking about Adam Henrique and other young players. He said the biggest challenge the kids face during their first three years is to be at their best on a consistent basis. With all the young players on the Oilers it’s difficult for everyone to be at the same level of play on a consistent basis. Make small mistakes against the best players in the world and they’ll make you pay for. The Oilers definitely need more depth on D, and a true #1 goalie. Add these two elements to increased maturity of the young players, and they should have a hell of a team. I haven’t study their cap space all that much, but if they’ll be in good shape if they could sign UFAs Hiller and Niskanen next year.

      Principe is absolutely right. I wrote here last week that if the Caps were to trade Ovi, then they would have to replace him with another goal scorer. If you give up a player with superstar potential, then you need to get one in return.

    • anthj99 - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Ha. Malkin for Eberle? Only if they also threw in Crosby would that trade be worth it. He must have dementia.

      • metalization1 - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        Ha you can’t be serious. Malkin is a much better player than Eberle. The Oilers would have to give up more than just Eberle to get Malkin.

      • anthj99 - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:35 AM

        Apparently my sarcasm wasn’t clear enough.

  2. stcrowe - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    When you eat a bad cake, you blame the baker, not the ingredients.

    • 19to77 - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      No kidding. This all starts with consistent, quality coaching standards and expectations. You can’t just throw overrated skilll players together without any sort of plan in mind. Team defense, investment in two-way forwards and so on. They’ve got enough potential gambreakers skill-wise. They need to draft for demonstrable grit and two-way utility. Nowhere near enough of that in Edmonton. Move a one-way offensive skill guy (Yakupov or Eberle) for someone who might bequeath on the Oil a legitimate and respectable defense.

    • anthj99 - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      It’s the team chef’s fault?

  3. evermench - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Might help if they get some veterans that can show these kids how to lead and win. Talent is good and all but you need smarts to go with it.

  4. storminator16 - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Doesn’t matter what Jones say at this point. I have a feeling Edmonton is going to try to correct some of this in the summer and/or before the draft. I expect a big shakeup and the only players I would say are untouchable is Hall & Nurse at this point.

    • storminator16 - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      And the ‘Nuge.

      • storminator16 - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        And Eakins is so gone. Should have just stuck with Krueger and brought Paul Maurice in as an associate coach as originally planned. That was just a bonked up situation.

    • thos_prattt - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      I watch the Oilers from afar, but I would not give up on Eberle or J. Schultz, unless the return was a clear jackpot. Eberle is terrific in most games I’ve seen, and young, talented D need time to mature.

      And if what you say is correct and the original plan was to have Krueger and Maurice coach this year, whoever decided to hire Eakins should be fired.

      • storminator16 - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        Not saying “give up” on them, I’m saying move them to get players who can help Taylor, ‘Nuge, and Nurse actually when some games down the road.

      • storminator16 - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        Yeah, if I remember correctly they were going to talk to (or they did) Paul Maurice about coming on as an associate coach. Krueger and Maurice have a connection as Krueger worked as a scout for the Canes when Maurice was coaching there in his first stint. Eakins was interviewed to be an assistant but MacT was so enamored with him he decided to fire Krueger, not even in a face to face meeting.

        Oilers management reap what they sow.

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