A frustrated Dallas Eakins met with the Edmonton media this morning to discuss his team’s six-game losing streak that culminated Saturday with a 6-0 loss to St. Louis on home ice.
Actually, check that. The losing streak really culminated with an Oilers fan throwing his jersey on the ice after said loss to the Blues. And Eakins — never afraid to talk — had some scathing words for that fan.
“Whoever threw that jersey on the ice, they’re out, they’ve given up, they’re a quitter,” said Eakins. “We don’t want that here.”
He added: “For some fan to show us all that he quit, he’s done, he threw in the towel, I think that says volumes about the individual. I don’t believe this city was built on people like that.”
That fan, by the way, was interviewed by the Edmonton Sun. And it doesn’t sound like he’s quitting on the team at all; more like making a statement about the way the Oilers have performed this season.
“I just felt I had to do something,” said 29-year-old Curtis Goyetche.
“I was just fed up. Frustrated. I was just being a passionate fan making my own statement, I guess. It just happened.”
It’s hard to blame him for being fed up. This was supposed to be the season the Oilers emerged out of the rebuild and made an honest run at a playoff spot. To put the team over the hump, the club hired Eakins, and did so with much fanfare. He was supposed to be the kind of coach who knew how to get the most out of his players, who keyed in on what made them tick and exploited that.
So far, all the talk has amounted to is an 11-24-3 record, good for dead last in the Western Conference, seven points back of second-to-last Calgary.
“I understand the booing,” said Eakins. “It comes when you’re not playing well and you’re not producing the results. Obviously there’s been losing going on for quite some time in the past, so I firmly respect that. In regards to [whoever] threw the sweater on the ice, that’s about as bad as it gets for me. I have great sympathy, I understand, I respect our fans, but that’s a bunch of bull crap to me.”
PS — here’s what Eakins said when he was hired: “In pro sports, winning is the bottom line.”
Related: Under Pressure: Dallas Eakins
Image via @hockeymotto