A lot has changed with the Edmonton Oilers as they jumped from cellar dweller to contender, but through it all, Jordan Eberle‘s absorbed a lot of criticism from fans. (At least depending upon who you ask.)
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan has also had some problems with the forward’s play, as Edmonton saw its series lead shrink to 2-1 against the Anaheim Ducks.
He admitted that Eberle hasn’t delivered enough lately, as the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples notes.
“Not enough,” McLellan said. ” … This is a new experience for him and he’s learning as he goes as well. It’s great to be making strong plays on the boards and checking well, but you also have to find a way to contribute on the power play and he’s not the only one, but he’s the one that stands out right now.”
Eberle garners criticism for his all-around play, yet he’s struggling even by the most traditional measures.
In nine postseason games (the first of his career after playing in 507 regular-season games), Eberle’s only managed two assists. To some extent, he’s due, but he’s firing just under two shots on goal each night with 17 overall.
If you want to work your way out of a scoring slump, being selective with your shots seems like the wrong way to go.
On the bright side, the 26-year-old realizes he’s been playing poorly, so maybe a little tough love – some from within, some from McLellan – may get him on the right path.