The Oilers lost their third in a row Tuesday and entered Wednesday night's play three points out of a playoff spot.
The retired coach went 9-2-2 out of the gate.
"I know there are people out there that believe this team can't make the playoffs".
The Bruins fired him days before the Oilers hired him. This week, he signed goaltender Mikko Koskinen to a three-year contract extension worth $4.5 million a season.
There were "Fire Chiarelli" chants in the middle of the second period and again at the end of the 3-2 loss to 31st place Detroit Red Wings Tuesday and Chiarelli was sacked just prior to midnight with the Oilers record having dropped to 23-24-3 with sudden separation from the teams they were battling in the Great Race to Save Face in the Western Conference. "We played a solid game and we really didn't give (Connor) McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl a whole lot even if they found a way to get on the scoresheet".
Nicholson was asked about Chiarelli's reaction to the news. Why so much money on such a small sample size of National Hockey League work?
This continues the franchise's rebuild in management after firing Todd McLellan earlier this season.
"I think [the roster] is good enough. I'm going to try to open up more doors in all aspects of this organization to find out those little things that just haven't been fixed over the last number of years for us not to be in the playoffs".
Edmonton had missed the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons before replacing Craig MacTavish with Chiarelli.
Chiarelli got Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow, Matt Fraser and Loui Eriksson back form Dallas in the Seguin trade and he received Adam Larsson back from New Jersey in the Hall exchange. Two players the Oilers placed on waivers on Monday, Ty Rattie and Ryan Spooner, both cleared waivers on Tuesday.
Zuccarello, 31, is having a nice season for NY, and through 35 games he has 24 points, including eight goals and 16 assists.
He also signed Milan Lucic to a seven-year, $42 million deal at the age of 28. With the exception of a throwaway line ("there's something in the water here in Edmonton that we don't have right") that ended up on a t-shirt within 30 minutes, Nicholson negotiated the rapids created by the gathered media in a professional manner.