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.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.