So has Pat Quinn given up on coaching the Oilers?
Or is he worried about his job?
He’s kind of giving mixed messages.
First, after a 6-0 loss to the Avs, Quinn announce, “You get hit so many times with a right, you’re begging for a left…That’s the reason to draw the line in the sand, again, for ourselves.”
That sounds pretty bad. Right away, your first thought is, ‘Quinn needs to be relieved of his duties. This is just too much to ask of him.’ And then, maybe your second thought is, ‘Maybe the Oilers need to give assistant coach Tom Renney the keys. His defensive systems are perfect for a team that seems completely devoid of talent.’
So a plan seems to be forming, but then Quinn jumps in with “We cannot become a good team just by practicing hard. Just by learning a system. We have to learn about ourselves and those intangibles it takes to play well at this level.”
And the fact that Quinn is talking down system-oriented play seems like a plea to keep his job and not give it to Renney, who is all about the system.
The Oilers have one win in their last 16. There’s a lack of depth that’s been exposed by injuries. Goaltending has been an issue. And let’s be honest: even at 100%, this Oilers team wasn’t going to set the league on fire.
And I get that Quinn is frustrated, but as the team coach, he needs to do something. He needs to make his team feel like he’s at least trying to turn things around. Because this is the kind of slump that doesn’t just go away on its own. The Oilers are bad, but they’re not this bad.
It seems like Quinn needs to decide if he wants to try and help his team get through the season with a tiny bit of dignity, or if he wants to let coaching become someone else’s problem.
But he can’t lobby to hold onto his job while also dropping hints he’s out of coaching options. That’s just confusing to everyone.