*Update: Sherwood cleared waivers this morning, 11/3.
Well, the night in EDM began optimistically with the Preds getting a goal 34 seconds in from Ekholm. Truly a team effort beginning in the corner with Ekholm, while Forsberg had the strong breakout pass out of the zone to get the rush going.
But, it didn’t take long for the sudden optimism to quickly evaporate as Draisaitl, McDavid, and Kane did what they do, scoring on a defensive breakdown with Kane backdoor as Duchene was caught watching the puck and then another quick 2 goals within a span of 26 seconds to turn a 1-0 lead into a 3-1 deficit and then a fourth to end the first period at 4-1.
Before the rant begins, here were the lines from last night:
22-92-44 (FYI, Sherwood was just placed on waivers so apparently management doesn't like him as I do).
12, 46, 8
We can start with the positive aspects of last night since this won't take long. The PK has been solid and, frankly, 2/6 against the powerhouse that is the Oilers top unit is something to hang your hat on. The performance last night leaves the team at 82.05% on the PK, but taking 39 penalties through 10 games is the absurd reality. STOP TAKING PENALTIES! The PP went 2/2 last night, but it's still a pedestrian 13.19% for the season. It's good to go 100% last night, but this team better be done with accepting any moral victories. At this point, no one cares what small things may have gone well. If you don't win, it doesn't matter.
Now on to the bad . . . EVERYTHING.
I remain a fan of the 22-92-44 line. Keep it together. Not sure why it was ever changed. As for the rest of the lineup, everything needs to be shuffled. You can have an expected goals ratio of 1,000,000 but if it doesn't go on the scoreboard, then just keep it to yourself. The eye test tells us all we need to know about this team currently. Change is needed. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know how to turn the ship around, but I do know that this team is too good to be performing the way they are.
As for the sticking with the identify talk, that’s almost as bad as Butch Jones telling Vols fans that we’re champions of life.
I like many of the players in Milwaukee and wish Tomasino and Afanasyev were on the current NHL roster, but we are kidding ourselves if we believe any of those players would make a decisive impact on the reality of the current team’s performance. The roster in its current construction, absent trades, is the roster that will stick around.
Is it appropriate to hold Poile and upper-level management to the fire? Many of you would say yes, this sentiment seems to have been growing for some time. But firing management now, in my opinion, won’t really change on the ice play currently. Unless it’s truly time to blow it all up and already call this season a wash. I’m not there yet. It’s my opinion that management has actually put together a solid team to be competitive. Again, this is a paper analysis as, of course, the on-ice play hasn’t matched that in the slightest. But the coaching staff definitely should be held accountable. We have 15 coaches on the bench it seems. It’s time to explore elsewhere. I’ll admit I have been promoting John Hynes on this platform as I thought that his gritty style of play would work here. But I’m beginning to fear that I have been Butch Jones’d.
The change needs to come in the overall system and it’s time that ownership and management emerge from the shadows and provide actual answers to the fanbase. Give a press conference to demonstrate your awareness of the situation. The fans deserve answers. If you have a goal and an internal message, then share it. The Preds wonder why the fanbase disappears when times go bad and then reappear when times are better again (see 2017 Cup run), well now is Exhibit A to that question. The committed fans that ride with the team through thick and thin are ignored.