Over the past several games the Oilers have played, there has been a noticeable lack of penalties called against the Oilers opponents. This has caused a lot of twitter discourse and even a comment from Coach Tom Renney relating to players not talking back to the officials when calls are not made.
I can only guess that this is an “unwritten rule” that allow officials to snub players that they feel chip too much about non-calls. Analysts talk about this all the time, and not ever having played the game I personally don’t understand this nuance of the game. I remember after the lockout was over several years ago, the message from the NHL was…that they were going call any and all penalties the same way, regardless of game situations, standings or whatever. Rules are rules and if you break them, there is supposed to be an unbiased call made.
I usually try not blame the Refs for the Oilers woes, let’s face it…the Oilers aren’t 29th due to officiating. Nor did they finish 30th for the last two seasons because of this either. But, I will say that it is starting to look a little lop sided in the calls from the officials, favoring Oilers opponents.
If there is some “code” or “rule of thumb” that players need to adhere to, in order to get more balanced officiating, is it really something that the players need to do? Or should this be something management should address with the league? I would like to see the Officials address this themselves and realize that not all games are called equally, and that they should strive to be as consistent as possible in all games.
On to the Coaching…As Tom Renney does not have a contract for next season (yet), and all the fans that I hear or read calling for his head, I wonder if Management will extend him or not.
I will admit here that I have been perplexed on many nights as to coaching decisions. The Belanger on the PP choice, the ice-time for the kids vs. veterans, and playing un-productive players in lieu of guys that have better production. Not to mention the decision(s) to play Barker or not. Having never coached anything, I have to believe that Renney has a plan and is executing that plan. He (Renney) has stated that he will coach this team according to his time-line and no one else’s. I just wish that Renney might let the rest of us in on the plan, at least enough to justify some of these decisions.
The game-play of the team has been wildly inconsistent lately. The shut-out victory against the Flyers at home was a great game by the Oil. Then we played Phoenix and essentially shit the bed. Then in Winnipeg was a very complete game by the Oilers. Next was St. Louis where they had some questionable goal tending, but desreved a better fate in my mind. But since then, we have posted 2 straight losses in efforts that were very poor. Mistakes with puck management and give-aways, to line changes and simple plays that were botched. This leads me back to the coaching discussed above, but with nothing to play for now this season except to be the occasional spoiler, I am not sure this can be fixed this season.
Anyways…on to the Sharks tonight
GO Oilers GO