GDB LVII: Coyote Ugly

Jason Gregor
February 08 2010 01:02PM

Whoever said that the 2009-10 Oilers season wouldn't be record setting, think again. Last week the Oilers tied the franchise record with a 13-game winless streak, and tonight they have a shot at setting a dubious record: longest road losing streak. The Oilers have lost nine straight on the road, all in regulation, and haven’t won away from Rexall Place since December 11th v. the Blues.

They’ve scored a paltry nine goals in the last nine road games, getting shut out twice, while scoring once five times and twice they managed two goals. They’ve given up 36 goals during this losing streak. They’ve been outscored 36 to freaking nine! At least try and compete is what Pat Quinn should be saying prior to tonight’s tilt in Phoenix . The Oil will be hard-pressed to avoid setting the record when they face the NHL’s biggest surprise, the 35-19-5 Coyotes.

The Desert Dogs are 21-8-2 at home, and only Washington and Vancouver have more home wins. You wonder if they actually had some fans come watch them, how dominant they’d be at home. The biggest key for the Coyotes has been their ability to score first. They are 26-2-2 when scoring first, a league-best .867 winning %, while the Oilers are a woeful 6-25-3 when giving up the first goal. If the Oilers don’t score first tonight there’s a great chance they will set a new mark for road futility.

COYOTES UGLY: BUT THEY WIN

The Coyotes won’t scare anyone with their offence. Scottie Upshall led them in goals, with 18 before ripping up his ACL over a week ago. Radim Vrbata is now tied with Upshall with 18, while Shane Doan leads them with 43 points including 17 goals. The Coyotes are great at winning close games. Twelve of their 19 home wins have been by a goal. Dave Tippett has them playing good defence, but their numbers aren’t stellar. In fact, when you look at them at face value, they aren’t great. Of the eight teams currently in the playoffs in the west, only the Flames have scored fewer goals than the Coyotes, 157. Yet, the Dogs have surrendered more goals than all of them except Nashville and LA.

The Coyotes rarely lose the tight games. Twenty of their wins are one-goal wins, and they’ve lost by three four times, got blown out by four goals three times and lost by five once. Their PP is 27th in the league and their PK is 10th. The Coyotes don’t wow you with anything, although Ilya Bryzgalov has a very respectable 2.33 GAA and .919 SV%. His numbers are good, but are on par with the other top-ten goalies in the game. The fact is, the Coyotes don’t draw big crowds, they don’t have a 20-goal scorer, they aren’t the toughest team but they win which is the most important stat.

D WILL GET A BOOST

The Oilers are 1-0-1 v. the Dog this year, and they will get a boost on the backend as both Ladislav Smid and Steve Staios will play tonight. If Staios can stay healthy up to the deadline, can Steve Tambellini find a trading partner for him? He has one more year at $2.7 million and that will make it tough to move him, but if Ales Kotalik and his $3 million can be moved, then Tambellini should be able to find a taker for Staios.

GAGNER ON WAY HOME

The injuries keep mounting for the Oilers, as Sam Gagner will return to Edmonton to have his knee looked at. Gagner was hurt in Denver and has been the Oilers best player in 2010. The Oilers sit comfortably in 30th place, with a seven-point lead on Toronto and Carolina , so they didn’t really need Gagner to miss games to ensure their 48.1% chance of drafting first. Gagner needs to play, and the Oilers are hoping there is no major damage and that he’ll be able to return after the Olympic break.

With Gagner going down, Marc Pouliot will get a shot on the first line.

Pouliot has played better the last few games along side Jacques and Stortini. They’ve played a simple game and won lots of one-on-one battles. I’ll give Pouliot credit, he has used his size more recently and that has helped him. We’ll see if he plays the same way alongside Penner tonight. And it looks like Gilbert Brule and Robert Nilsson will draw back in with Gagner and Mike Comrie coming out. Not entirely sure on Brule, but that’s what it looked like to the boys watching the skate this morning in Phoenix .

NEEDS TO HELP OUT GM

Everyone is expecting Ethan Moreau to be moved before the deadline, and while he has played a bit better of late, he could help his GM by actually registering a point. He’s gone 33 games since scoring a goal, and he has two assists in 31 games. He’s never been a big scorer, but he needs to produce more than that. GAINEY GONE Interesting to hear that at 2 p.m. MST Bob Gainey will step down as GM of the Canadiens.

The rumours are already flying out of Montreal that Gainey was told to either trade Carey Price or step down. That seems like a stretch to me, but it will be interesting to see what the Canadiens do moving forward with their goaltending. It seems obvious that one of Price or Halak will be dealt. But, the Habs have to answer the million dollar question and pick the right one to trade.

I’m guessing Interim GM, Pierre Gauthier’s phone will be ringing of the hook once the press conference is over.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Oilchange64
February 08 2010, 09:24PM
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Hard to say which would be worse - watching this in person or on TV. I can just turn it off. In Phoenix I could go outside and actually do something else.

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#103 WT
February 08 2010, 09:30PM
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If Bob Gainey can step down in the Habs organization why can't KLOWE step down in Oiler Nation. Seems that Gainey as a player was much more important to the organization than KLOWE was with the Oilers. Come on KLOWE be a man and step down. Look what you have created, what a great team you have put together tonight

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#104 jeanshorts
February 08 2010, 09:33PM
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WE WANT JUNG!

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#105 Wanyes bastard child
February 08 2010, 09:35PM
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WT wrote:

If Bob Gainey can step down in the Habs organization why can't KLOWE step down in Oiler Nation. Seems that Gainey as a player was much more important to the organization than KLOWE was with the Oilers. Come on KLOWE be a man and step down. Look what you have created, what a great team you have put together tonight

*starts slow clap*

No third person comments :) I'm proud of you sir, damn proud!

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#106 jeanshorts
February 08 2010, 09:35PM
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WT wrote:

If Bob Gainey can step down in the Habs organization why can't KLOWE step down in Oiler Nation. Seems that Gainey as a player was much more important to the organization than KLOWE was with the Oilers. Come on KLOWE be a man and step down. Look what you have created, what a great team you have put together tonight

Ummm, Bob Gainey did the exact same thing Lowe did 2 years ago. He "stepped down" as GM, but is still in the organization in an "advisory role".

Kevin Lowe stepped down as GM and is now President Of Hockey Operations, whatever that is.

But as far as I can tell it's the exact same lateral move. Same basic spot in the front office, different name plate on the office door.

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#107 Wanyes bastard child
February 08 2010, 09:38PM
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Shutout.. there I said it.

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#108 Poo Czar
February 08 2010, 09:42PM
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OILERS HOCKEY!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!!

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#109 WT
February 08 2010, 09:43PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

*starts slow clap*

No third person comments :) I'm proud of you sir, damn proud!

WT almost lost his head, that won't happen again. Rod and Bob talking about Hooters on Mill ave in Tempe. Their "heads" don't appear to be in the game. ASU girls here we come

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#110 Harlie
February 08 2010, 09:44PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Ummm, Bob Gainey did the exact same thing Lowe did 2 years ago. He "stepped down" as GM, but is still in the organization in an "advisory role".

Kevin Lowe stepped down as GM and is now President Of Hockey Operations, whatever that is.

But as far as I can tell it's the exact same lateral move. Same basic spot in the front office, different name plate on the office door.

exactly

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#111 David S
February 08 2010, 09:45PM
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Poo Czar wrote:

OILERS HOCKEY!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!!

God love your enthusiasm. No *fap fap fap* for you tonight I'm afraid,

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#112 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 09:46PM
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I feel bad for Bingofuel.

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#113 David S
February 08 2010, 09:46PM
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Yay. 6-0.

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#114 jeanshorts
February 08 2010, 09:46PM
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Alright boys, there's still 8 minutes left. We can definitely still pull this one out.

10 goals here we come!

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#115 Harlie
February 08 2010, 09:46PM
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Deslauriers is really sucking it out the backside of his critics tonight!

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#116 Poo Czar
February 08 2010, 09:46PM
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Gunner wrote:

We want 10. We want 10. We want 10.

x2

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#118 Colin
February 08 2010, 09:49PM
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For some reason losing to Pheonix has always bothered me. Then again I fell the same about Atlanta, Florida, Tampa and Nashville.

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#119 jeanshorts
February 08 2010, 09:49PM
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COMRIE FOR CAPTAIN!

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#120 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 09:51PM
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Thats why he is my star.

And why he is my favorite player.

Do you think Prucha said something to him about sloppy seconds?

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#121 Harlie
February 08 2010, 09:52PM
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Stripes with the KO!

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#122 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 08 2010, 09:52PM
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Heavyd wrote:

Thats why he is my star.

And why he is my favorite player.

Do you think Prucha said something to him about sloppy seconds?

comrie just wanted a reason to call 'er a night

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#123 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 09:52PM
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I am guessing Brownlee must be really confused right now?

One game he plays good, next game he craps the bed.

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#124 Poo Czar
February 08 2010, 09:53PM
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JDD for Captain!

LE BAAAAAA!!!!

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#125 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 09:53PM
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Didn't want to mess with his plus/minus stat.

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#126 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 09:54PM
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Captain fag.

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#127 Wanyes bastard child
February 08 2010, 09:55PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Shutout.. there I said it.

Damn im good.

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#128 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 08 2010, 09:56PM
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Heavyd wrote:

I am guessing Brownlee must be really confused right now?

One game he plays good, next game he craps the bed.

it really doesnt matter all that much how JDD plays right now. the team cant score or play defense, what are they going to do, win every game 1-0 or 2-1??

yeah, it kills some momentum to have softies go in, but you could put whoever you want in net for this team, it wouldnt really matter...unless he can score goals too

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#129 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 09:57PM
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Que the comeback?

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#130 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 09:59PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Ya thats true. And it's a good learning experience. But you have to think that maybe if Bulin was in net, we maybe could have some closer games, but who knows.

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#131 Harlie
February 08 2010, 09:59PM
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Poor Potulny. Dustin and Nilson don't want to talk to him or celebrate goals with him. :(

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#132 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 08 2010, 10:00PM
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Heavyd wrote:

Ya thats true. And it's a good learning experience. But you have to think that maybe if Bulin was in net, we maybe could have some closer games, but who knows.

close games could impact the DFF! Traitor!!!

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#133 jeanshorts
February 08 2010, 10:02PM
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Jobbing.com Arena is pretty fitting considering how bad the Oilers jobbed to the Coyotes tonight.

I guess the good thing is the Oilers finally stopped striving for mediocrity.

Striving for absolute futility!

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#134 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 10:02PM
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Can someone explain to me how we fight vs the Coyotes, but won't fight when playing Calgary, or a northwest opponet?

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#135 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 10:04PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

I didn't say we would win, I said that I just wanted closer games?

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#136 6 ring circus
February 08 2010, 10:05PM
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Is Tamballini still evaluating?

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#137 jeanshorts
February 08 2010, 10:06PM
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@6 ring circus

"Let's just see where this goes....."

It fits more and more with every amazingly craptacular loss.

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#138 DoubleJ
February 08 2010, 10:07PM
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"WHEN THE MOON AND THE STARS COLLIDE"

THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR IS BACK, Steady Steve Staios -4. Thank god he's back.

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#139 Ender
February 08 2010, 10:10PM
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The guy I feel the worst tonight is Pitton. What does it do to your confidence when the starter gets shelled for 6 goals and the coach still prefers him to you?

Quinn basically said to Pitton tonight "The only way you're getting onto the ice is if JDD comes off it on a stretcher."

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#140 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 10:10PM
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How can you evaluate when you have big bags under your eyes.

He is like Mr.Magoo.

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#141 DoubleJ
February 08 2010, 10:10PM
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If Tambi finds someone to trade Moreau I'll be shocked.

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#142 David S
February 08 2010, 10:11PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

"Let's just see where this goes....."

It fits more and more with every amazingly craptacular loss.

That and you putting that damn "DFF" in his mind. Its ALL your fault.

CURSE YOU JEANSHORTS!!!!!

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#143 The Real Scuba Steve
February 08 2010, 10:14PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Is Tamballini still evaluating?

Almost, probably after next year's training camp...

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#144 Jodes
February 08 2010, 10:18PM
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Am I still considered an Oilers fan if I didn't watch the game and got rid of my parents purple/lilac bathroom tiles instead?

Here come the Ax.. and here comes the Smasher, The Demolition, walking disaster!

I guess demolishing a bathroom is more fun then watching the Coilers drop another log!

At least Dustin tied his #of goals from his 1st year with the Oil. Hopefully he'll pot a few more in before the end of the season.. How he stayed a +1 tonight is beyond me..

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#145 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 08 2010, 10:18PM
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Heavyd wrote:

I didn't say we would win, I said that I just wanted closer games?

closer=chance of winning

right now=little to no chance

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#146 Gunner
February 08 2010, 10:22PM
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The Bachelor sucks just as hard as the Oilers. Trust me, I just watched it. Puke.

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#147 Heavyd
February 08 2010, 10:29PM
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@Gunner

You better be getting laid tonight for wacthing that show.

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#148 VK63
February 08 2010, 10:30PM
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getzlaf with a nasty ankle sprain, couple hundred more injuries and horc is a shoe in for team canada.

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#149 David S
February 08 2010, 10:31PM
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Gunner wrote:

The Bachelor sucks just as hard as the Oilers. Trust me, I just watched it. Puke.

Sucker. Heh heh.

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#150 puckbag
February 08 2010, 10:31PM
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I wonder if we can fit a giant paper bag over Rexall Place?

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