Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan ripped into his team’s effort earlier this week following a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets — specifically he was critical of the performance of the line featuring both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
“We’re not near competitive enough,” McLellan told reporters Monday. “We’re not outworking teams. It feels like it in moments of the game where you kind of get rolling around, but consistently from minutes one to 60 in the last two nights we haven’t come close to outworking a team, and structurally we’re about as loose as we can be. We’re missing assignments. It starts with your star players. Your stars have to be superstars every night on both sides of the puck. … We didn’t quite get it done with our star players.”
Don Cherry gave his two cents on McLellan’s comments Saturday night during the Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
“First of all, you know in Edmonton and everybody knows when you’re talking ‘superstar’ who he’s pointing at,” Cherry said, alluding to McDavid. “Here’s a kid, 20-year-old kid’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders and you’re pointing at him [basically saying] the reason they lost is because of him.
“You can not do that.”
Cherry said he believes comments like McLellan’s shouldn’t take place in public.
“What’s in the dressing room stays in the dressing room,” Cherry added. “You don’t need added pressure on a 20-year-old guy.”