What can Craig MacTavish do, his goaltender is certainly suffering from a confidence problem, his offensive players are making terrible judgment plays and his defence has stopped defending. What can the Oiler fans expect from him, miracles? In a game that the Oilers not only needed to win, but should have won, he was disappointed again as his Oiler team found a way to throw away the game in less than two minutes, the final two minutes. That is not a coaching breakdown, but a player breakdown. While the whispers begin in Edmonton about how MacTavish has to go, the players should be taking stock in the dressing room, they're apparently just not up for the job at hand.
The Oilers who while dominating the play through the game, at least gave the indication that they had things in hand, fell apart as the third period wound down. Salo who only faced seventeen shots, was found wanting in the second period when the Kings scored their second goal with him looking the other way.
As the third period was coming to an end it looked like the Oil would hang on to a 3-2 victory, but a poorly played shot by Ryan Smyth gave the Kings a second chance, an icing call brought the puck into the Oilers end of the rink, and before they knew it another puck was behind Salo. Giving the Kings a 4-3 victory and putting them temporarily into eighth place in the NHL West, just ahead of Calgary. The stay would be short lived after today's 6-4 win by the Flames over the Ducks.
The loss for the Oilers was a disappointing thing to watch, one of the all important four point games, losing to a conference rival that they need to beat to get into the playoffs. Breakdowns like last night, will go a long way in ensuring that the Oilers have no more hockey to play by May.