Mar 6, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Tom Renney walks across the ice to the locker room after the first period against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE


Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

 Watching last night’s game, I was curious about the coaching decision to put Belanger and Jones out on the four-on-four situation.I was eagerly awaiting the post game comments on a night where I questioned the Coach’s choices and not just on the aforementioned four-on-four, but also in regards to flat start, lack of shots and personnel assignments.

I have written previously about coaching decisions and, last night confirmed some of the things I had mentioned. Why, oh why, is Belanger and Jones starting a four-on-four with 49 seconds left on the clock in the first period when the Oilers are down 1-0?? Are these your best options in this situation to get out of a period with a tie game? Now to be fair…Whitney did score and after the game Belanger was credited with the second assist on the goal. But, even the Oilers web site wrote that Whitney didn’t try to get the puck to Jones as they entered the offensive zone…see the quote from their site after the jump.

With 49.8 seconds on the clock and with the teams playing 4-on-4 as Jeff Petry and Daniel Winnik were serving time, Ryan Whitney raced into the Sharks end, looked off Ryan Jones and ripped a slapper past Antti Niemi’s glove to square the score, 1-1.

The way I see it, Whitney didn’t have the confidence to give that puck to the forward (Jones) in that situation and took the shot himself. I don’t know if that’s true, but the gamble paid off and Whitney got the goal. I would be curious to know if Whitney felt that was the right personnel on the ice in that situation?  When a 30 Goal Scorer and 25 goal scorer are sitting on the bench in Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.

Here’s the comments from Renney last night after the game…

I was listening to the Team 1260’s Nielson & Fraser show this morning on the drive to work, and they were discussing the post-game comments from Coach Renney and I have to say that I agree with them that message from the Coach is somewhat skewed to the players. On the one hand Renney mentioned that the team needs to play to win and not, to not lose. But on the other hand Renney makes decisions where the optics are, that he’s coaching not to lose. As Bob Stauffer put it on Oilers now on CHED today when referring to this same part of the Coach’s rant last night, he said…”you can’t suck and blow at the same time.”

Personally, I feel that Renney’s comments about attitudes and playing not to lose and the expletive that he used to hammer home the point, is too little too late. This is the kind of post game comments i would have expected after game 25 in December when the team started to slide consistently. I would’ve liked to see this kind of fire from Renney back when it still mattered and not when the team has 13 games to go and are in 29th facing another lottery pick at the draft. Not too mention, the fact that Renney did not come out with any emotion after the Colorado game on Saturday afternoon when the goal was disallowed that should’ve been a goal, drives me crazy! Fine be damned, the officials needed to hear it and I think the players probably did too.

The big battle of the bottom feeders is on wednesday when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to Rexall. I have no idea if we can beat this team. I never have a good feeling about any game anymore at home, considering we have now lost seven of the last eight on home ice.

GO Tambellini GO! (pun intended)

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Tags: Eric Belanger Officials Ryan Whitney Tom Renney

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