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"This can be a mistake": Hockey world reacts to Edmonton Oilers firing Jay Woodcroft

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This simply in, information from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet that the Edmonton Oilers have fired Jay Woodcroft: “Edmonton is making a training change. Jay Woodcroft being relieved of his duties. Thought final nights win would purchase a while, however that’s not the case.”

And the Day by day Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported: “Listening to Kris Knoblauch is incoming as subsequent Oilers coach… Senior advisor Paul Coffey can also be stepping behind the bench as assistant coach, in response to the Oilers. Dave Manson was fired together with Jay Woodcroft… Plenty of folks will say Kris Knoblauch lands in Edmonton due to Connor McDavid. However what is obvious is Oilers CEO Jeff Jackson has an enormous perception in Knoblauch. As agent, a lot of Jackson’s purchasers performed for Knoblauch: McDavid, Connor Brown, Alex DeBrincat, Taylor and Darren Raddysh, Travis Dermott and Ben Harpur.”

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Kris Knoblauch

In fact, social media reacted, swiftly and none-too-happily:

Kurt Leavins of the Cult of Hockey
Elliotte is a most thrust worthy supply. My preliminary response is that this can be a mistake. Maybe I will likely be confirmed improper. I really feel for Jay Woodcroft. Errors have been made by him, sure. However this entire mess has hardly been on solely him.

NHL community analyst Mike Rupp
*McLellan
*Hitch
*Tippett
*Woodcroft
*quickly to be (new one)
5 coaches in 97’s 8+ seasons
I feel it’s time to begin placing the main focus larger up the meals chain…

Oilers fan Lynn Mercereau
In truth, what considerations me greater than letting Woodcroft go is who that subsequent identify is. Their choice making course of is questionable at finest.

Toronto hockey author Travis Yost
Bit gorgeous to see Woodcroft go.
Arduous to say he did an incredible job contemplating, however at all times discovered him affordable, and comparatively far more spectacular than the entrance workplace

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Oilers fan Bret Litke
Woodcroft shouldn’t have been fired, imo! Holland didn’t deserve a 3rd coach. He needs to be the one on the chopping block… Outdated boys membership strikes once more. Truly makes me sick. Try Coffey’s publish enjoying profession resume on Wikipedia. What about that screams NHL assistant coach?

Oilers Day by day
FYI, the Oilers had the sixth finest file within the NHL since hiring Woodcroft.
Firing him is a horrible mistake and I hope it comes again to hang-out them.

Oilers fan Dennis King
How did that out-of-date dullard Ken Holland survive this?? And does McDavid personal the workforce now? That’s the way it appears

Jonathan Willis of The Athletic
Kris Knoblauch is an especially completed junior coach and has historical past with lots of key folks within the Oilers organizations.
As an AHL head coach, his groups have gone 119-122, missed the playoffs twice in three tries and gained solely a single playoff spherical.

Oilers fan Trent Wilhauk
What the F are the Edmonton Oilers doing firing Jay Woodcroft!! What a rubbish transfer!!!! The gamers are the issue…. Not the coach… The Edmonton Oilers are a Joke! Yep I mentioned it…. A joke!!!

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Oilers fan Reagan Podelec
A few of you Oiler followers could not like that Woodcroft was fired. Calling out McDavid for calling the photographs on the following coach? Tread flippantly. Turning on our number one participant although? It’s a enterprise, and successful is necessary. No totally different than Sather operating the present within the 80’s and insulating hand-picked folks round Gretzky.

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Winnipeg hockey author Murat Ates
It’s simple for me on the skin to suppose the Oilers’ goaltending and uncharacteristically unhealthy ending acquired Woodcroft fired. On the similar time, the McDavid/Draisaitl clock is ticking and EDM should really feel unimaginable warmth. Crew is capped out. .269 PTS%.
What’s EDM meant to do: Wait?
I landed on that Q as if ready would have been a horrendous thought. The reality is I don’t know.
Let’s say you substitute the GM, although.
Draisaitl UFA eligible in 2025, McDavid in 2026.
Who within the identify of Sam Pollock can discover a goalie for zero {dollars} in time to avoid wasting the season?

OHL hockey scout Sean Patrick Ryan
McDavid’s OHL coach is now his NHL coach. Gotta really feel for Woodcroft & his workers. Took workforce to Convention finals final 12 months, out after 13 video games this 12 months. Yesterday he knew he was already gone so there was a apparent sense of reduction & playfulness in his interview with the media.

Buffalo hockey author Joe Yerdon
Huge fan of Kris Knoblauch and hope for the perfect for him with the Oilers.
Wonderful that Holland has gotten to choose his third coach since taking up. GMs don’t often get that sort of runway

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Vancouver Solar/Province hockey author Ben Kuzma
Join the dots. Knoblauch guided McDavid for 3 OHL seasons in Erie. Glad captain, comfortable trails.

Oilers fan Mike Dirsa
Right this moment is harking back to after I was 12 years outdated coming inside from enjoying within the yard to observe the Gretzky sale.

Oilers fan Paul Almeida
I really feel unhealthy for Jay. He had an incredible file till the beginning of this season. I want him properly… Kris Knoblauch coached McDavid in Erie and is a rookie NHL coach. Paul Coffey’s affect within the group has been rising. Jackson was McDavid’s agent and hires his former coach. Optically not good. I hope it really works out.

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Sports activities commentator Dustin Nielson
So McDavid’s agent and Junior Coach now operating the Oilers. What a time to be alive… Knoblauch gained a title in WHL & OHL and has spent the final 5 years within the AHL with Hartford, made it to the second spherical as soon as.
I don’t suppose he would have been on the shortlist for lots of NHL head teaching jobs, so he appears handpicked for 97 and this group.

Calgary hockey author Darren Haynes
Notable profession NHL teaching information (sorted by PT%):
– Jay Woodcroft, 79-41-13, .643
– Jon Cooper, 486-255-71, .642
– Toe Blake, 500-255-159, .634
– Bruce Boudreau, 617-342-128, .626
– Joel Quenneville, 969-572-227, .612
– Glen Sather, 497-307-128, .602

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Edmonton sports activities legend Terry Jones
Oilers coaches in Katz possession period: Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger, Dallas Eakins, Todd Nelson, Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock, Dave Tippett, Jay Woodcroft and Kris Knoblach. That’s 10!… It would grow to be sensible and lead to a completely circled season and the Oilers returning to Stanley Cup contender. However, man, the optics of every part proper now are terrible… The Oilers simply fired a head coach with a .643 proportion coming off a 4-1 win on the highway by which Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl didn’t register some extent. Not saying. Simply saying.”

Hockey Corridor of Fame author Jim Matheson
I’m certain we are going to hear standard issues from Oiler gamers Monday about this being their fault and never the coaches after Woodcroft/Manson firings however frankly that is boiler plate. It’s properly previous time that gamers in Edm all understand discuss is getting low cost.

Oilers fan Denny Sawchuk
Woodcroft will catch on some place else and have super success, that is such a mistake, how are these guys such coach killers?

Ryan Rishaug, TSN
Tons of blame to go round, Woodcroft and Manson pay the value.
On their watch they’ve gotten an entire lot worse defensively one way or the other. Their concepts haven’t labored, and so they didn’t deliver sufficient in the way in which of accountability and options. As for the gamers, in the event that they don’t commit to raised effort, accountability and a focus to element, it gained’t matter who’s behind the bench. Holland has accomplished some good issues, however his errors are obvious proper now – Campbell deal, and cap administration/roster flexibility.. and so forth… McDavid – clearly enjoying by an harm – and Draisaitl should cleared the path with their habits, physique language, effort stage. If the offence isn’t coming, all these parts have to be higher than they’ve been and the group will observe or people will likely be left behind…

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Oilers fan Darcy “Woodguy” McLeod
(Goalie skilled) Kevin Woodley mentioned final June “all of the Oilers needed to was have a look at Campbell’s modify save proportion in Toronto and so they wouldn’t have supplied him that contract”
Right this moment Woodcroft loses his job as a result of The NHL Information and Document E book doesn’t have adjusted save proportion.

James Mirtle, Senior Managing Editor of The Athletic
Knoblauch is an efficient rent IMO. Powerful scenario, however he’s been an up-and-comer for a very long time.

New York hockey author Arthur Staple of The Athletic
League supply says #NYR very supportive of Knoblauch getting this chance. Steve Smith interim HFD coach, seek for new head coach begins instantly

My take

1. Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock, Dave Tippett and now Jay Woocroft. All of them tried to get these Edmonton Oilers to play constant, stable elementary defence. All of them failed. All of them acquired fired. However perhaps it’s not simply the fault of the coaches.

This newest model of the Oilers lastly performed a stable defensive recreation final night time in opposition to Seattle, the fashion of play they should constantly play in the event that they’re going to make the playoffs, not to mention win the Stanley Cup.

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The workforce targeted on defence, with few unhealthy pinches, few misplaced attackers within the slot, few weak backchecks. All these issues have been plaguing the Oilers this 12 months, simply as they’ve been plaguing the Oilers for years. This can be a workforce of scorers and attackers, but in addition a workforce of puck-watchers on defence, gamers much more targeted on scoring than defending.

This works when the workforce’s energy play is ramped up excessive and if it will get stable sufficient goaltending. It doesn’t work at different occasions, and it’ll NEVER work to win the Stanley Cup.

Until every participant on this workforce commits to defending with the identical focus, smarts and dedication they confirmed in opposition to Seattle, after they restricted the Kraken to only 4 Grade A photographs, Edmonton will likely be a very good workforce, however by no means an incredible workforce.

2. It’s on the coach to get his workforce to carry out properly defensively. Woodcroft was dedicated to that proposition. Edmonton made an enormous transfer by adopting the Vegas/Boston zone system of defence this 12 months, a system that works properly with sensible, dedicated and hard-working defenders. It didn’t work so properly in Edmonton, as lots of the gamers have unhealthy habits on defence which can be troublesome to alter. I ought to add that Connor McDavid just isn’t a type of gamers who wrestle on defence, not for the previous couple of seasons. McDavid has realized. Others haven’t.

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3. Who else typically will get the job accomplished on defence for the Oilers? Lots of the position gamers: Brett Kulak, Cody Ceci, Mattias Janmark and Derek Ryan. Apart from that there’s room for enchancment, in some circumstances a world of room for enchancment.

4. Lots of followers and commentators will now say that the Oilers had “good analytics” this 12 months, that means Edmonton outshot opposing groups. And it’s true, the Oilers did. However when it got here to probably the most harmful of all photographs, those who go in 33 per cent of the time, the opposition had extra of these photographs than the Oilers did, 87 to 84. Edmonton total had a little bit of an edge in play, however not a lot as some will recommend.

5. Edmonton’s goaltending has certainly been a shambles this 12 months. There have solely been one or two video games when their goalie was the perfect goalie on the ice, together with the Seattle video games, when Stuart Skinner got here up with some stupendous saves. However until Skinner can recurrently crank out such sturdy video games — and there’s an opportunity he can — Edmonton is in bother within the nets. Jack Campbell has not been near adequate. He’s acquired an opportunity to get better his recreation in Bakersfield, which might be big for the group, however probably the most that may fairly be anticipated is he’ll present respectable back-up play on the NHL stage.

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6. Many followers are calling for Oilers GM Ken Holland to be fired, however he was basically changed by Jeff Jackson final summer season. Jackson is making the large calls now, which has by no means been extra evident with the hiring of Knoblauch.

7. As for Woodcroft, he did a unbelievable job till he didn’t. He acquired out-coached within the Vegas collection. He tried to regulate this summer season, however his finest plans didn’t work out. It’s no simple job to get gamers with weak defensive habits to alter these habits, and, ultimately, he was unable to take action. On the similar time, primarily based on Edmonton’s shut-down defensive efficiency in opposition to Seattle, we all know the Oilers can play stable defence if they’re dedicated and determined sufficient. That Cup-winning defensive depth is inside them. Woodcroft couldn’t deliver it out sufficient for the workforce to beat Vegas or for the gamers to adapt to a superior defensive system this 12 months. We’ll see how one other coach does, nevertheless it’s actually as much as the gamers. Because the Seattle recreation demonstrates, they know what to do. They merely must do it.

8. Proper now, because it stands, the Oilers are a firewagon hockey workforce in a park-the-bus league. They like to assault and stress, they reside for it, however they usually over-commit to each attacking and pressuring and permit odd-man rushes and wide-open slot photographs. Different groups know this in order that they pack the defensive slot, look ahead to the Oilers to bash up in opposition to them, then kill them on the counterattack. Edmonton has scored simply eight objectives on the frenzy this 12 months, with 23 for the opposition.

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Once more, we’ll see if the Oilers can adapt to the Vegas techniques utilized by most different groups in opposition to them, and if they’ll play stable defence in their very own zone on a constant foundation. I’m beginning to have main doubts. However I haven’t misplaced hope.

Ever hear of the five hundred rule? Some folks solely must be advised as soon as that they made a mistake, and so they appropriate it. Different folks want to listen to it 500 occasions. Maybe a few of Edmonton’s weaker defenders are getting near that 500 mark.

9.  I cannot grieve for Jay Woodcroft. Why would anybody? I’m suspect he’s not within the depth of despair. He acquired to teach within the NHL. He signed a multi-million contract and he’s nonetheless getting paid. He acquired to teach Connor McDavid. He had two photographs main this workforce into the playoffs. He’s additionally evidently acquired a robust character and a sunny disposition. He’ll get one other NHL teaching job. He’ll be tremendous.

On the Cult

LEAVINS: 9 Issues — why not give Woodcroft extra of an opportunity?

STAPLES: Oilers lose their most distinguished fan

McCURDY: Preserve Woodcroft for now

Staples: Out of contact Oilers could price Woodcroft his job

LEAVINS: Recreation grades vs Sharks

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