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Hall: Oilers have ‘let everyone, including ourselves, down’

Apr 2, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers lost in regulation for the 41st time this season– and their leading scorer expressed frustration over what’s been another miserable campaign.

“We’re all struggling with the fact we’re 29th [place, in the NHL] and not in the spot we want to be. We just have to stay as positive as we can,” Taylor Hall said, per the Edmonton Journal. “I think it’s safe to say this has been the toughest year out of the four I’ve faced — just with the expectations we had coming in and the way that we’ve played has let everyone, including ourselves, down.”

Hall — who’s having another terrific offensive season, with 72 points in 69 games — is one of the few Oilers to have met expectations this year. It’s almost a shame to watch the first overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft have his efforts wasted; tied with Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin on the league’s scoring leaderboard, Hall has delivered throughout the year while the team around him is, for lack of a better word, bad.

The way Hall has produced offensively is worth mentioning, though, especially in light of what head coach Dallas Eakins had to say earlier in the week.

“There’s this misconception about this team that it is an offensive skilled team. We’re not,” he said, per the Edmonton Journal. “We have some players who have skill, but the last four or five years this team has been bottom five or six in shots and basically 26th in scoring … this is not a high-powered offensive team.”

Big, if true.

It’s hard decipher what Eakins is doing here. Some of his explanation could be simply to save face, as if to suggest the team’s lacklustre offense isn’t on him or his preferred style of play.

It could also be a condemnation of the draft strategy prior to his arrival. The Oilers picked in the top 10 in each of the last five years, going with four forwards (Hall, Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov) before taking defenseman Darnell Nurse in ’13. Those picks, along with earlier first-rounders Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner, earned Edmonton the high-powered offense tag… even though the statistics don’t correlate.

As such, it’s hard to figure out where the Oilers go from here, or what the club hopes to accomplish next season.

“Going into next year, it’s hard to give some expectations because we’ve lowered them this year,” Hall said. “It’s going to interesting to see what happens, but I think we’re all committed to finish as strong as we can.”

  1. bildomac07 - Apr 2, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    It’s hard to put up good offensive numbers when you play the whole game in your own end…

  2. footballchamp - Apr 2, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    This team has to be the most disappointing group assembled in years. It’s time. Time’s up. How long do the fans in Edmonton have to put up with this inferior product?!

    There’s only so many kicks at the can for top draft picks. If all you do is draft young, high picks, then your team is going to be inexperienced. Trade away some of these young guys, trade away for some veterans. What, are we going to go through another 5 years of high picks?!

    It’s painfully clear to Edmonton fans that the rebuild has and isn’t working. Time for a regime change, and hopefully a regime with an actual plan. Just losing and drafting high isn’t a plan.

  3. zdravit - Apr 2, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    They’ve let me down, and I don’t even watch hockey.

  4. mlhegs - Apr 2, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    A plan would be a good idea, but how can you expect a plan from a President of Hockey Operations that has such a bloated opinion of his own opinion? This team has gone down hill since Kevin Lowe moved up from coach. He made the Horcoff deal, traded away players with size and higher General Managers that think as highly of themselves as the do of him. This is all about the Kevin Lowe ego show, not about long suffering fans and even long suffering players.

  5. mlhegs - Apr 2, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    A plan would be a good idea, but how can you expect a plan from a President of Hockey Operations that has such a bloated opinion of his own opinion? This team has gone down hill since Kevin Lowe moved up from coach. He made the Horcoff deal, traded away players with size and highered General Managers that think as highly of themselves as the do of him. This is all about the Kevin Lowe ego show, not about long suffering fans and even long suffering players.

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