February 20, 2013
Oilers coach Ralph Krueger strikes a fine balance

Ralph Krueger does express his anger when players aren't performing up to expectations, but focuses on working to correct the shortcomings. (Amber Bracken/QMI Agency)

EDMONTON - With the season dangerously close to slipping through their fingers and the Edmonton Oilers still picking and choosing which games they want to get up for, Ralph Krueger could be forgiven for kicking a few garbage cans and blowing a few gaskets.

Points are slipping away, the road trip from hell is fast approaching and the players still aren’t getting it, so you wonder if now might be a pretty good time to start FREAKING OUT ON THOSE NO GOOD, MISERABLE BLEEPIN’ BLEEPS!

Krueger appreciates the urgency of the situation, sitting in 12th place with a nine-game trip on the horizon, but doesn’t think it’s anything a fit of rage will cure.

“In this season, especially, I think you have to be really cognisant of the emotional state of the team,” he said, adding that with 48 games in 99 days, nobody can afford to lose their mental edge.

“You have to realize that the pace is going to cause a fragile state. … You have no time to recover. The emotional state of the team is