When an individual player does poorly, it's fine to attribute poor performance to individual inability to produce. When the whole team is struggling, there's something else brewing. This whole blame game focusing the attention on the players who are all simultaneously under-performing only peels the skin off the body of the problem. And it makes me sick that Kevin Lowe has to come out and tried to save MacTavish - not by defending his actions - but by shoving off the blame to the players.
Letter to Kevin Lowe (Point Form)
1. It's not Craig MacTavish's fault that we're losing. I'm gonna come right out and say it - it's YOUR fault Kevin Lowe. It's your fault that guys like Kelly Buchberger get promoted and it's your fault that Steve Tambellini doesn't have to the autonomy to make all moves without your O.K. and it's your fault that we're in this 3 goalie mess.
2. The Oilers keep talking about guys being held accountable for their performance. Well, both Garon and Roloson have been playing well, but only Roloson keeps getting starts. What the deuce?
3. A lot of people are calling for Craig MacTavish's firing. I don't agree with that. I think that if he gets fired, you should go too, Kevin. If not, MacT should get the benefit of the doubt til Steve Tambellini fixes this team.
4. The players should be accountable for not scoring? Dude, Penner, Cole, and the kid line have been shuffled around faster than you can say "UNO." That happens on other NHL teams too, you say? Yeah, but other NHL teams aren't missing a 3rd line center, aren't carrying 3 goalies and have guys playing out of position all over the team. This team would still have holes if we took away the injuires to Roy, Jacques, Pisani, and MacIntyre. The fact that they're out only compounds the problem. Having limited roster spots (too many goalies) doesn't help, either.
5. Are Smid and Roy NHL calibre defenseman or not? If not, ship em off Cliff Fletcher style or else make a commitment to them and not sign guys like Strudwick. Or else, someone will end up playing Forward and it will make things really confusing.
6. Garon - sign him or trade him. He's not getting any happier on the bench.
7. Did I mention that this is your fault? Stop hiding upstairs and come down and fix it. Don't take the blame off of MacT and force it onto the players. Deal with it like a man and fix the situation.
That being said, I still admire a lot of the moves Kevin Lowe made in the past few years to keep this team afloat. But this season has been frustrating because nobody seems to do those things anymore - and that's why this team, which is supposed to be better - is performing worse.
It's not who you have on your team - it's what the team is willing to do. Is this a coaching problem? Partly. Is this a personnel problem? You bet.
Personnel = team + administration
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