McKenzie: ‘I guess anybody can understand Hitchcock’s frustration’

The Oilers dropped another game over the weekend, leaving Ken Hitchcock exasperated.

Bob McKenzie had a Monday morning radio hit on Edmonton’s TSN 1260, and was asked about the potential next step for Hitchcock behind the bench of a badly struggling hockey team.

“I guess anybody can understand Hitchcock’s frustration there,” supposed McKenzie. “But the flip side of it is I guess that you can ascribe a lot of things to character or not wanting it enough or what have you, but maybe talent - or lack of depth of talent - is the greater issue.

“Hitch would know better than us because he’s there on the front lines, but if he’s telling us that there’s players on this team that don’t care or they’re not giving it their all or they’re whatever, then that’s even worse because I think in a lot of instances where you’ve got a team that’s not as talented as the other team, sometimes players shut down a little bit because they are overwhelmed - because they’re overmatched - and they realize they can’t compete.

“So is it a function of that - is the greater issue a talent issue or is it a greater issue that players don’t care enough. I don’t know. I could be wrong, but I think a lot of times players get accused of not caring enough; but I think in those instances maybe those players are just ill-suited in the roles that they’re at and that they get overwhelmed with the circumstance.

“So then it’s on management to try to bring in a better group of players that aren’t overwhelmed by their circumstance.”

The Oilers are on the road for their next three games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, and New York Islanders.