Fredrik Karlsson/Image Agency

Dave Tippett was fired for Ken Holland's mistakes

Ask anyone what the Edmonton Oilers’ biggest problem coming into the season would be, and they would tell you that returning to the tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen was the glaring weak point on a team with a number of issues.

Edmonton general manager Ken Holland fired coach Dave Tippett on Thursday morning after the team was outscored 8-1 in back-to-back games against the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks coming out of the All-Star break. Tippett is replaced by Jay Woodcroft, who has recently been coaching the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

One might have been able to excuse the loss to Vegas — one of the two best and most talented teams in the Western Conference — but getting shelled by Chicago at home was the dagger. Especially because, after the Vegas loss, Tippett defended Smith (who had allowed four goals on 28 shots) and then ran him out again the next night, when he stopped just 26 of 30. But even that wasn’t really his fault because Koskinen was in COVID protocols.

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This article is about:
NHL Edmonton Oilers NHL Leon Draisaitl Mikko Koskinen Connor McDavid Mike Smith Ken Holland Dave Tippett Jay Woodcroft
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