NHL

Oilers GM MacTavish addresses club's difficult start

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TSN.ca Staff
11/14/2013 3:14:28 PM
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Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish spoke out on Thursday and pulled no punches when talking about his club's poor start to the season.

The Oilers have been shut out in three straight home games and are in last place in the Western Conference with a 4-14-2 record.

"Things have obviously not gone as well as I would have thought probable...I'm frustrated, I'm pissed off...I want to see results," MacTavish said at a news conference.

MacTavish said the Oilers "self-destructed" in their first six games, and said that their "low point" was a 5-0 home loss to Detroit on Nov. 2.

The Oilers' general manager also spoke about rookie head coach Dallas Eakins, whom he hired over the summer from the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

"What this team needs is continuity in coaching, and they're going to get it... (Eakins is) hitting all the right messages," said MacTavish.

Despite their early-season struggles, MacTavish is still supporting his players and coaching staff. He said he met with his players on Thursday and said "we're all suffering together."

"I have not seen the same, beat-up, negative group that I've seen here in the past. If I thought for one instant it was a lack of work ethic on the players' part, we'd be having a much different conversation.

"I'm going to continue to support this group, and I think the players deserve my support... I feel and see progress," added MacTavish.

MacTavish also addressed Edmonton's player needs, starting with their defence corps.

"The blueline needs to be improved upon... do we need a big stud defenceman? It would help immensely," said MacTavish.

But MacTavish explained that he's not willing to part with one of his team's core pieces at this time.

In terms of a message to frustrated Oilers fans, MacTavish offered, "It's painful, but we're going to get through this and eventually be a much improved team."

Dallas Eakins and Oilers Bench (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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