The past 7 years, the Edmonton Oilers have seen 5 coaches. After some questionable line combinations by Eakins, it has some fans wondering… Will he be fired? Well there are a few key aspects to look at. For example, Eakins’ record as the Head Coach of the Edmonton Oilers is 29-46-10. That is not good enough to make the playoffs. Eakins also has not always handled delicate situations effectively, his lines are not the greatest. But on the other hand, like mentioned before, 5 coaches in the past 7 years is a lot. So if MacTavish were to fire Eakins and hire a new coach, all of the Oilers would have to learn a brand new system.
Another positive thing about having Eakins is the fact that he was hired around the same time as MacTavish was, which poses as a learning experience for the two of them. One also has to have the view that it isn't only Eakins’ fault. While Eakins creates lines, it should be the player’s initiative to go out there and give his hardest working effort. In general, if a team lacks success, it should not just be blamed on the coach, as many Oilers fans have pointed their fingers towards Eakins for no wins this season.
Earlier stated in this blog, Eakins also makes some pretty terrible decisions for this hockey club. For example, benching Nail Yakupov during the 2013-2014 season. While he may have not done the greatest that season, it is still not the best idea to bench a 19 year old Russian. Another example is benching Jeff Petry and replacing him for Brad Hunt’s booming shot on the power play against the LA Kings last game. Or in the same game, his decision to pair Schultz and Nurse together. One rookie and one offensively minded defense man. Another one of Eakins’ issue is the inability to adapt to any environment in a game. So if the Oilers were losing a game, Eakins would do very little to try to change the dynamic of that game.
Wait, there is more. Oilers have a lead, but for some odd reason, Edmonton loses all offensive abilities and start turning it over in their own zone. Before Eakins can do anything, the puck is already in the back of the net. This happens in most games the Oilers lead in. This can be blamed partially on the players, but a lot of the issue is Eakins’ system, High risk, high reward, and if that doesn't work it is panic mode.
So does Eakins deserve to be fired? Yes. There is no excuse why the Oilers should be losing with the team they have. While this is partially the Oilers fault, the coach is expected to get his players a decent system, which he has yet to do.