Oilers coach calls jersey-throwing fan a 'quitter'
Protest came as team fell 6-0 in another dismal performance
Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins lashed out publicly at a fan who threw a jersey on the ice following a punishing loss on home ice over the weekend.
The Oilers fell 6-0 against the St. Louis Blues at Rexall Place, marking the sixth loss in the row for the team, which now sits second from the bottom of the NHL standings. It was the sixth shutout against Edmonton this season, and the third time in the last five games.
"Obviously, there's been some losing going on for quite some time," Eakins told media Monday.
Eakins said he and his coaching staff are leaving "no stone being unturned" to improve the team's performance, and that it's up to everyone — fans and players — to not give up.
"Whoever threw that jersey onto the ice, they're out. They've given up. They're a quitter. We don't want that here."
Eakins held a lengthy team meeting after the loss and blasted his players publicly post-game. On Sunday, Eakins made sure to get his message across at practice that the Oilers must improve their league-worst 3.47 goals-against average.
"Every player's game has to start with defense," Eakins said. "If the other team doesn't score, we cannot lose the game. That's a fact. And that has to be your mind-set and if you play good defense, then your opportunities arise."
Edmonton will try to snap its season-worst losing streak Monday as they face the Winnipeg Jet at Rexall Place.
With files from The Associated Press