After months of seemingly trying to get fired, Dave Tippett is finally gone.
Let’s say, theoretically, you have a 39-year-old goalie, who’s been injured all season, who played his first game in well over a month, and was horrible in it. And in this theoretical scenario, you are playing another game the next night. Now, common sense would dictate that unless your team genuinely does not have another goalie, you would not start that same elderly goalie again. This may come as a shock to you, but a real NHL head coach, who was presented with that scenario, chose to start the elderly goalie again, seemingly unironically. You may ask, “who could do such a thing?”. Dave Tippett. Dave Tippett could do such a thing.
It’s been pretty much the entire season that I’ve been calling for Dave Tippett’s head, but after he kept his job despite losing 12 straight games behind the bench, I had all but given up on that happening this year. Obviously, Dave Tippett hasn’t been the Oilers’ only problem. In fact, he probably hasn’t even been their biggest. As much as Dave Tippett is at fault for the horrible lineup construction and the horrendous playing time management, the majority of the fault lies with GM Ken Holland, who has shown an absolute masterclass of ineptitude when it comes to constructing a hockey team. But this isn’t a time for complaints, it’s a time for celebration.
Dave Tippett is finally gone, and he went out in the most Dave Tippett way imaginable. After using Mikko Koskinen as a scapegoat the whole season, it was Mike Smith, the man who Dave Tippett seemingly loved with every fiber in his body, who let him down. I like to imagine that Mike Smith is also an Oilers fan who just took one for the team and played so badly that there was no option but to fire Tippett. Regardless, Dave Tippett went out exactly how he deserved to. Unceremoniously, on a random Thursday morning, with Mike Smith as his Waterloo, and no one to blame but himself.