While the media and fans call for Dave Tippet’s head, Tippett himself says he’s busy putting out little fires in the locker room and on the ice as he tries to help this Edmonton Oilers turn around a losing streak that has created quite the stir for a hockey-mad market like Edmonton. Tippett knows there’s outside noise, but he’s not worried about it he says.
Related: McDavid Misses Second-Straight Practice, Tests Positive For COVID
“That stuff doesn’t bother me a bit,” Tippett said when speaking with the media and after revealing that both Connor McDavid and Derek Ryan tested positive for COVID on Tuesday. Tippett was asked about the team’s struggles and his job security and noted, “I’ve been around too long and I’m with Ken Holland, who is a good man, so I don’t listen to any outside noise. He added, “The house is burning for you guys. Inside the coach’s office, we’re trying to put fires out.”
He talked about how it might have bothered him when he was a young coach and recalls going through a similar situation in Dallas, but the team came through their struggles and really turned it on, to which his GM at the time Bob Gainey said he became a better coach for having gone through that. Tippett noted that teams have struggles and there are certainly areas the team needs to improve upon. He doesn’t like the adversity but knows that things were coming too easy at the start of the year. Now is the real test for this team.
It’s Not Coming So Easily for the Oilers Anymore
Noting the team can’t continue to out-score their problems, Tippett didn’t seem surprised that the bad habits might eventually catch up to this group and that playing 13 defensemen recently and not having Mike Smith hasn’t helped. “There’s a lot of things we can still grab onto here,” said Tippett. It’s just a matter of grabbing on sooner than later.
The Oilers are still in the playoff mix, but potentially losing McDavid for a game or two won’t help. This team needs better goaltending, depth scoring, and for the defense to limit chances against. Until they solve those issues, the fires will continue to burn.
Next: Price to Sit Out the Season or Showcase Himself for a Trade?
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