Who saw this coming?!

Jason Gregor
March 23 2010 11:52PM

The unpredictability of sports, and especially hockey, is what makes it impossible not to watch, even the most meaningless game. All of a sudden the Oilers have won three straight home games for the first time since October, and they’ve beaten three playoffs teams in the process.

A big “Who saw that coming” is fitting right now.

Roberto Luongo was dreadful tonight. The Tom Gilbert and Andrew Cogliano goals were brutal, while the Robert Nilsson goal was questionable at best.

And speaking of “WSTC,” you have to think Nathan Deobald felt that way when he got to live out every hockey kid’s dream of suiting up in the NHL. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t get in the game, but he took the warm up, faced shots from NHL players, sat in the dressing room, listened to Pat Quinn’s pregame speech, had the best seat in the house for a game and then soaked up the atmosphere in a winning room. It’s probably better he didn’t play, because now he only has positive memories to recant to all of his buddies for the next 50 years.

Don’t tell me you wouldn’t love the opportunity to dress for an NHL game. Anyone who says it doesn’t count because he didn’t play is lying and doesn’t understand what it means to fulfill the dream. Good for him and his family who got to watch the game live at Rexall.

New face in town

There has been lots of dialogue and discussion whether Jordan Eberle should get a few games with the Oilers this year. And it has been interesting talking and listening to people in the organization and around the league about the decision to put him in Springfield.

I’d like to see him play here, but I understand that four or five games in the NHL this year won’t alter his career.

I think he’d benefit from getting a true feel of how fast the game is, and what areas he needs to improve on in order to stay here next year, but the team is in no hurry to rush him along.

In fact, I get the sense from some that Eberle might not start here next year. What if the Oilers want him to develop his game a bit more in the AHL for 30 or more games next season? I’m guessing it would infuriate some fans, but it might — and I stress might — help him develop. He is a smaller guy, with average foot speed, so maybe some seasoning in the AHL could help.

I’m not sold on that idea, but I don’t think 30 or 40 games in the AHL would be the worst thing either.

Some are worried that if he gets called up this season, all the focus will be on him compared to next season when he could come to camp with MPS, Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, a healthy Ales Hemsky and a sober Nikolai Khabibulin.

Is that a valid concern?

I don’t think so, but that seems to be one of the thought processes of the team right now. As of today, it sounds like Eberle won’t get recalled, but I won’t believe that fully until the season is over.

While you debate whether he should be here or not, don’t be stunned if another Oiler prospect makes an appearance in Edmonton before the season is over. The Oilers have nine games remaining and they could bring in a young guy to play the remainder of the year, and it wouldn’t count as a contract year if this was his first foray into pro hockey.

Jeff Petry might make an appearance in Edmonton sooner than you think. Guy Flaming, from The Pipeline Show, is pretty tapped into all the prospects on the Oilers and around the NHL. He mentioned to me that he thinks this is a legitimate possibility.

It makes sense, when you consider Petry just wrapped up his season with Michigan State and is in playing shape. He won’t benefit from another year in college and he has a NHL caliber shot right now.

You might not see Eberle this season, but you might see another player we’ve been hearing about since he was drafted in the 2nd round in 2006.

“Who saw that coming?!” — Colonel Eldrick V. Towel Boy

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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 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 25 2010, 12:35PM
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madjam wrote:

With all the talk of getting rid of Pasani , Moreau , Souray , Comrie and several of our smaller players( by trade or otherwise ), etc. what is clubs intentions toward building a solid base and not a further downturn ? In the last 3 seasons we seem to have replaced it with less than adequate replacements to be honest, and i don't see that trend changing with present managerial group . Do you see it getting better ,and if so , how ??

well, things cant get any worse now can they.

so yes, i see things getting better. will things be ALOT better? no, probably not. it took klowe 4 or 5 years to make the mess, it isnt going to be fixed in 1 or 2 years.

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#102 Dan the Man
March 25 2010, 12:50PM
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Millard says that Petry may sign a deal today and that in all likelihood he will report to Springfield with a chance of a call up to Edmonton before the end of the season.

http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.com/

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#103 Archaeologuy
March 25 2010, 12:52PM
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@Dan the Man

I hope the kid is as good as they think he is.

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#104 Dan the Man
March 25 2010, 01:04PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I hope the kid is as good as they think he is.

Yeah, that would be great. I haven't read a lot of negatives about him. Good size, skates well, hard shot, plays well in both ends of the rink, etc...

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#105 craigero
March 25 2010, 01:09PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Detroit could let their young players mature in the A, because they had great players in the N.

Our N is filled with As already, so why let our future great N sit down in the A?

huh?

I could not of said it better myself.... totally agree.

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#106 Archaeologuy
March 25 2010, 01:09PM
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@Dan the Man

Daum must be on cloud nine. How many defensemen are left in Springfield?

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#107 Bucknuck
March 25 2010, 01:10PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

well, things cant get any worse now can they.

so yes, i see things getting better. will things be ALOT better? no, probably not. it took klowe 4 or 5 years to make the mess, it isnt going to be fixed in 1 or 2 years.

This isn't klowe's mess.

This team is far worse than it was two seasons ago, which was the last time that he was in charge.

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#108 Crash
March 25 2010, 01:12PM
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craigero wrote:

I could not of said it better myself.... totally agree.

And not only could Detroit let their young players mature in the A because of a stacked NHL club but because they've had a stacked team they've always been drafting later in every round and you don't tend to find NHL ready young players in the late 1st round or later so you pretty much have to develop them elsewhere.

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#109 Crash
March 25 2010, 01:16PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

This isn't klowe's mess.

This team is far worse than it was two seasons ago, which was the last time that he was in charge.

This team isn't that far off of the team from 2 yrs ago...it's the injuries that have us where we are today, which by the way is exactly what we needed.

I don't think this team is going to be as bad as many of you are making them out to be next season as long as they stay healthy and don't trade away the rest of our best players on draft picks.

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#110 Bucknuck
March 25 2010, 01:49PM
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@Crash

Some key problems the team had and what tambellini has did to solve them prior to this season blowing up.

Lacking Grit: Cole out, O'sullivan in

Faceoff prowess: Brodziak out, 5th round draft pick in.

Tight to the salary cap: Bring in Khabibulin for four million a season for FOUR years. Complete overpay for too long a period for an aging goalkeeper.

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#111 Dan the Man
March 25 2010, 02:12PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Daum must be on cloud nine. How many defensemen are left in Springfield?

This was their D in their last game and of course Arsene is now up with Edmonton and I know Bryan Young was just sent back to Stockton.

Chris Armstrong - Johan Motin

Bryan Young - Dean Arsene

J.F. David - Jordan Bendfeld

So yeah I'd say Daum would appreciate some help.

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#112 Archaeologuy
March 25 2010, 02:16PM
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@Dan the Man

~I cant believe its a losing organization~

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#113 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 25 2010, 02:18PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

This isn't klowe's mess.

This team is far worse than it was two seasons ago, which was the last time that he was in charge.

this team is loaded with inflated contracts handed out by lowe.

i will agree 110% tambo hasnt done much to fix things, and to a degree he has made things worse on himself.

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#114 Crackenbury
March 25 2010, 02:38PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

this team is loaded with inflated contracts handed out by lowe.

i will agree 110% tambo hasnt done much to fix things, and to a degree he has made things worse on himself.

I think he's just trying to get a rise out of you. The problem with this team and every other team in the Oilers situation are "problem contracts" and klowe is responsible for every one of them. If 'Bulin bombs out next year then Tambo has 1 strike against him as well, but that's going to happen occasionally. Klowe made a habit of dishing out overpriced lengthy contracts. If 'Bulin comes out and plays well, he's light years better than anything we've got right now.

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#115 Bill Rizer
March 25 2010, 02:39PM
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I don't want to burst any bubbles but the 2006 run was a fluke. Don't get me wrong it was an incredible ride and my voicebox hasn't quite recovered, but the Oilers didn't deserve to make the final that year. Giving KLowe credit for that doesn't seem right.

That year in the playoffs they were outscored 5 on 5, they had a pitiful 17% PP, and they were outshot 31.7 to 27.3. I know I'm being particular with my stats, but most would agree great playoff teams usually do well in these categories.

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#116 Crash
March 25 2010, 02:48PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Some key problems the team had and what tambellini has did to solve them prior to this season blowing up.

Lacking Grit: Cole out, O'sullivan in

Faceoff prowess: Brodziak out, 5th round draft pick in.

Tight to the salary cap: Bring in Khabibulin for four million a season for FOUR years. Complete overpay for too long a period for an aging goalkeeper.

Like I said not too much different from a couple of years ago...

Losing Cole, no loss whatsoever...Cole has done absolutley nothing since going back to Carolina...so far this year he as managed all of 31 games played and he has a whopping 12 pts and 21 PIM's...so Cole wasn't going to supply any grit and in fact he would have been another long term injury. So O'Sullivan > Cole

Carolina is not a playoff team and they have Cole and all his grit.

Losing Brodziak was also not a great loss...there's no way he plays in our top 6 and like you said the team is lacking grit and it's needed in our bottom six. Brodziak doesn't exactly bring much grit to his game. Very little lost there...

Minnesota is not a playoff team and they have Brodziak.

Khabibulin at this point does look like a mistake but on the bright side it has allowed the Oilers to play JDD and DD extensively and it could be that both of them are starting to arrive. Could be the silver amongst the dark clouds.

With the loss of Hemsky, Khabibulin, Souray this year and many other players out for extended periods of time the rest of the team has been exposed for how good they really are...now we wait and see what it looks like next year...but so far as this year goes...not much different than the team of 2 yrs ago...talentwise.

The team is now no longer tight against the cap either even with Khabibulin.

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#117 Crackenbury
March 25 2010, 02:57PM
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Crash wrote:

Like I said not too much different from a couple of years ago...

Losing Cole, no loss whatsoever...Cole has done absolutley nothing since going back to Carolina...so far this year he as managed all of 31 games played and he has a whopping 12 pts and 21 PIM's...so Cole wasn't going to supply any grit and in fact he would have been another long term injury. So O'Sullivan > Cole

Carolina is not a playoff team and they have Cole and all his grit.

Losing Brodziak was also not a great loss...there's no way he plays in our top 6 and like you said the team is lacking grit and it's needed in our bottom six. Brodziak doesn't exactly bring much grit to his game. Very little lost there...

Minnesota is not a playoff team and they have Brodziak.

Khabibulin at this point does look like a mistake but on the bright side it has allowed the Oilers to play JDD and DD extensively and it could be that both of them are starting to arrive. Could be the silver amongst the dark clouds.

With the loss of Hemsky, Khabibulin, Souray this year and many other players out for extended periods of time the rest of the team has been exposed for how good they really are...now we wait and see what it looks like next year...but so far as this year goes...not much different than the team of 2 yrs ago...talentwise.

The team is now no longer tight against the cap either even with Khabibulin.

It's amazing, you seemed to have left Visnovsky, Staios, Whitney and Johnson out of your examples. I wonder why?

Edit: Intended as reply to Bucknuck

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#118 Dan the Man
March 25 2010, 04:01PM
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Bill Rizer wrote:

I don't want to burst any bubbles but the 2006 run was a fluke. Don't get me wrong it was an incredible ride and my voicebox hasn't quite recovered, but the Oilers didn't deserve to make the final that year. Giving KLowe credit for that doesn't seem right.

That year in the playoffs they were outscored 5 on 5, they had a pitiful 17% PP, and they were outshot 31.7 to 27.3. I know I'm being particular with my stats, but most would agree great playoff teams usually do well in these categories.

2006 was a surprise for sure but to say KLo doesn't deserve any credit for it is ridiculous. He brought in Pronger, Peca, Spacek, Samsonov and Roloson that year.

I'd say that deserves some credit.

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