Chris Austin-USA TODAY Sports

Expectation Reset

For many of us, the start of this year’s season has failed miserably to meet our expectations.  So what now?  Are you able and willing to reset your expectations for the rest of the year?  As frustrating as that proposition sounds, it is likely the best course of action to pursue if you want to find any “silver linings” throughout the remainder of this season.  As we all know, the chance of the Oilers making the playoffs this year is slim at best.  A record of 4-15-2 to start any year would be challenging enough to come back from, but when you play in a conference that currently boasts several of the top 10 teams in the entire league the challenge becomes that much more daunting.

I have decided to wipe the memory of the first 21 games away.  Done with, move on.  The team that played on most of those nights was nowhere close to the team it could be.  Now, that’s not to say that the Oilers should be a playoff team, but they should be a team that competes hard every night and with good fortunate wins more often than they lose.  It really was numbing to see night in and night out how many Oilers struggled at the same time.  Clearly some struggled more than others, but as a group, no one was able to pull the team out of that skid.  It was likely just prior to MacTavish’s Emergency Broadcast that we were witnessing a team that had lost total confidence in itself.  To guess, I would offer that this lack of confidence was resonating not only through the players but through the coaching staff as well.  Obviously, you would have to believe that Eakins projected a much more successful start to his NHL coaching career.  When the wins didn’t come, and his team began to struggle mightily, one would guess at some point during that period that Eakins had to be second guessing himself.

So what now?  What is a reasonable expectation reset?  Finish the year with a 500 or better record at home.  Finish the year with a 500 or better overall record.  Challenge for a playoff spot.  For each fan that will be their battle to pick.  For myself, I want to see this team finish with a winning record over each of its next three 20 game blocks.  Overall, make their way back to finishing the year with a 500 or better record.

Sometimes expectations can be a hard thing to live up to.  Time to reset.

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