GDB 02: SHARK HUNTING

Jason Gregor
January 22 2013 01:28PM

The Oilers are 19-8-5 (actual ties) in home openers including a perfect 3-0 v. the San Jose Sharks. They beat the Sharks 3-2 in a shootout in 2008, 3-2 in 1993 and 5-2 in 2003, so with it being 2013 it only seems fitting they open their home schedule v. San Jose.

I know technically this is the 2012/2013 season, but their home opener is in 2013 so just go with it.

Both teams won their season openers on the road, Edmonton in Vancouver and San Jose in Calgary, and both will try to become the 9th NHL team to start the season 2-0.

Shawn Horcoff, Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall and Ben Eager weren't on the ice for the optional morning skate. Eager's eye is swollen from his fight against Zack Kassian on Sunday and he won't play tonight. The other three were just resting.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Horcoff-Hartikainen
paajarvi-Belanger-Petrell

Smid-Petry
N.Schultz- J.Schultz
Whitney - Potter

Dubnyk
Danis

"We'd like to incorporate him into the PK tonight," Krueger said about Paajarvi. When I asked Krueger about having more forwards involved killing penalties he said he plans on using more, but felt they weren't ready for the season opener. He wants to ensure his young guys are well-versed and completely understand the system.

In Vancouver, Krueger and Steve Smith didn't want to disrupt the ryhthm of their defence and they didn't try to hard to match lines. When I asked Krueger his strategy for home games," I look at each game as a different story. A lot of it will depend on how the game is unfolding."

Ladislav Smid liked the strategy in Vancouver because it allowed the defenders to stay in a consistent flow. He also joked that it was nice not having to defend the Sedins every shift. Smid and Jeff Petry both relish the opportunity to try and shut down the opposition's best line, and tonight they expect to see a lot of the Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau/Joe Pavelski line.

Krueger was very complimentary of Corey Potter today and explained why he has him ahead of Fistric. He likes his body positioning and how he moves the puck. I'm curious to see when Fistric will draw in. The Sharks have a big team, but they aren't overly physical which is why Krueger replaced Eager with Paajarvi. Paajarvi was amped up to play and he is hoping to make a good impression early in the game.
 

SHARKS

Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski
Clowe-Couture-Havlat
Wingels-Handzus-Galiardi
Mclaren-Desjardins-Burish

Stuart-Vlasic
Boyle-Irwin
Murray- Braun

Niemi

Joe Pavelski is the only right-handed shot in the Sharks top-six, and he's enjoying playing the wing with Thornton and Marleau. "Joe demands the puck a lot, so I've had to alter my game a bit and learn to dish it off, but it is easy because I know Joe will get it back to me in a better position."

The Sharks are without Brent Burns and Jason Demers, and Matt Irwin looked very good in his first NHL game in Calgary. "We put him with Boyle from the first day of camp to make him feel comfortable," said Sharks' head coach Todd Mclellan. "We wanted to instill some confidence in him early by putting him with Boyle and on the PP with Thornton. I saw his confidence grow all week and he looked good in game one."

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are a perfect 4-0 in home openers/season openers v. the Sharks. They've won all three home openers in Edmonton and they also beat the Sharks in San Jose to open a season. The Oilers speed will be an issue for the Sharks and they win 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: It will feel like a playoff game for fans. The building will be loud, the Octane will unveil a few new routines and with an 8 p.m. start many fans will be a tad "louder" when the game starts. Nail Yakupov scores his first NHL goal and follows it up with a triple fist pump.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: When they Oilers start announcing winners of the signed Oiler Jerseys, at least three diehard Oilersnation readers will win. They will instantly brag about it, rightfully so, in the comments section. And knowing Nation readers they will pick guys a jersey like Kurt Brackenbury #15, Stan Weir #21, Dave Brown #32, Jim Dowd #34 or Marty Reasoner's #19. The Nation readers set trends, they don't follow them.

GET OFF YOUR WALLET

You have five days left to win a $5,000 shopping spree at United Cycle or any of the 99 other prizes in the Nation's First Annual hockey draft. It is only $20 bucks with a portion of the funds going to charity. Bragging rights are on the line boys and girls, so enter today. We are almost sold out.

GOOD KARMA...UPDATE

I`m doing my show live at the Pint off Whyte today and at 2:10 Jessie strolled in and handed me a pair of tickets to tonight`s home opener. He wanted to give to a diehard fan. What a guy.

I will be giving them away at 6:30 p.m. You have to be here to win. Good luck.

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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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#1 book¡e
January 22 2013, 01:41PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

The Octane are Horrible! - Nobody who has seen that pic

To be fair, that was Photoshopped a fair bit from the original photo which can be seen here

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#2 Matt Henderson
January 22 2013, 01:35PM
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The Octane are Horrible! - Nobody who has seen that pic

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#3 jeanshorts
January 22 2013, 03:34PM
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Only one game in and people are already losing their minds over which 6th DMan is playing.

WELCOME BACK EVERYBODY!!

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#4 Clyde Frog
January 22 2013, 11:01PM
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jefff wrote:

Umm, You

DSF high fives his magical friend!

Dancing happily, he makes the requisit small sacrifices to the hockey shrines that litter his living space.

Everything is coming up Millhouse! Finally, sitting back he prepares to bask in the internets everloving glow; the Oiler's will surely not come back from that embarrasment of a 1st period...

Yelling upstairs for Mother, he risks her wrath; for she must see the culmination of his lifes work! Edmonton has lost and all is right in DSF's world.

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#5 mc79hockey
January 22 2013, 01:40PM
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Gregor -

Why do you expect such a restrained celebration from Yakupov?

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#6 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
January 22 2013, 02:20PM
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Man, there are so many options for a signed jersey: Reasoner, Kovalenko, Buchberger, McAmmond, Grier, Marchant, Mironov, Marchment, Oliver, de Vries, and the list goes on.....

Ahh the glory days for those of us who missed the glory days.

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#7 Robin Brownlee
January 22 2013, 04:54PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Good thinking!

Pretty hard to stock someone from another city.

And it's just as difficult to stalk someone from another city, too.

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#8 justDOit
January 22 2013, 01:42PM
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mc79hockey wrote:

Gregor -

Why do you expect such a restrained celebration from Yakupov?

You beat me to it! Nail does a double fist-pump after the anthems.

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#9 Six Rings
January 22 2013, 02:35PM
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If I won I think I'd get the old Igor Ulanov #55.

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#10 book¡e
January 22 2013, 04:48PM
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David S wrote:

Ah. Book's going for the all-time prop record. Might as well help him out. *Props*

Well played old chap.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ma7m4vesnz1rdiecno1_400.jpg

I ran into Ralph Krueger in a line up at a Mac's store yesterday. He made me believe I could do it.

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#11 Sanaa Montana
January 22 2013, 07:01PM
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@Cpro

You look like Jay Cutler: if he wasn't an athlete.

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#12 Quicksilver ballet
January 22 2013, 10:27PM
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Wonder if pulling Dubnyk after 4 goals would have made a difference.

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#13 The Soup Fascist
January 23 2013, 08:15AM
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mlcselli wrote:

Clyde Frog--You are my new hero and I think Big Mouth is intimidated by you and your awesome/hilarious stories. He's been quiet tonight. Keep up the great work and I think The Nation will have to nominate you for a Pulitizer Prize.

Not to diminish Clyde Frog's responses, but DSF did not need to say much tonight. It was pretty clear that as much upside as there is with this team, there are going to be periods like this. As much as I enjoy disagreeing and sparring with DSF, this is a case of "when you lose say little, when you win say less".

Now his minion, jefff on the other hand ........ Why do I picture Dr. Evil and Mini me?????

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#14 Clyde Frog
January 23 2013, 09:51AM
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Rob... wrote:

Though funny and very creative, I can't support Clyde Frog. DSF irritates the hell out of me, but he does it by cherry picking his facts and ignoring the flaws in his arguments that others point out. I can't say I've ever seen him purposefully go after an individual here in a persistent unending attack meant to drive his target off the site.

There is no meaning to drive an individual off the site; I am just attempting to add context to the discussion in a way that makes me smile.

Because honestly it was getting stale, Story X about the Oilers is posted; DSF chooses Team Y and points out the Oilers lack characteristic/player Z, therefore they are not good at all.

Every single time.

Discussion starts, DSF just keeps switching Team Y and player Z to ensure no matter what is said the Oilers are terrible in comparison.

I like coming to the site, I like the articles, I like the discussion. But if I have to read 1-2 pages of DSF fighting the Oilernation on EVERY SINGLE blog posting, I might as well smile while doing it.

In sum, its not personal, its not meant to "drive someone away" (Hard to character assassinate a online persona lacking vowels with an online persona named Clyde Frog), its simply meant to add humor to the page after page of DSF fighting the universe.

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#15 Sanaa Montana
January 22 2013, 04:05PM
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I can't wait for B.Eager to come back.

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#16 Dallylamma
January 22 2013, 04:20PM
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book¡e wrote:

To be fair, that was Photoshopped a fair bit from the original photo which can be seen here

Happily the boobs stayed the same size...

I'd get a Bryan Marchment sweater. Rememeber when he collapsed Mike Gartner's lung with a hit? OLD TIME HOCKEY!

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#17 m3sh
January 22 2013, 09:13PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

he hasnt been great but he hasnt had much help at all.

was a good 1 game run the oilers had though. good times.

I agree, he hasn't had much help. Still, at least 3 of those goals are as soft as DSF's manhood.

Ya, I went there.

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#18 gcw_rocks
January 22 2013, 02:08PM
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Man I wish Krueger would hold off on the man crush on Potter until he sees Fistric play a game or two.

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#19 justDOit
January 22 2013, 02:13PM
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I'd love a Klima jersey - because I can still make that vein in my buddy's forehead stand out just by mentioning Klima's name. He's a Bruins fan.

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#20 Matt Henderson
January 22 2013, 02:48PM
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I legitimately want an Igor Ulanov Jersey. That guy was incredible. Pain threshold of a corpse.

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#21 I tried it at home
January 22 2013, 03:16PM
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Id love to have my Roloson jersey back someone took from me, but if its any choice, maybe a Satan or "Goalie Bob" Essensa. Just for fun.

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#22 Time Travelling Sean
January 22 2013, 03:20PM
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If I ever won I'd take an Igor Ulanov jersey, I loved him.

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#23 Rob...
January 22 2013, 03:22PM
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I'd ask for an Oilers Brian Leetch Jersey. Not only would Brian have a WTF moment when they asked him to sign it, but it'd make for some interesting discussions or bets when wearing it in public.

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#24 Czar
January 22 2013, 03:51PM
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Kent Nilsson because I'd like to talk to him face to face about his kid.

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#25 Phixieus666
January 22 2013, 04:00PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Oh I DEFINITELY want to see him go out there and ruin people's nights, that's for sure.

Really doesn't matter all that much but I must say I would totally favor a big physical guy that likes to hit because hey I like to see people getting hit. I miss Andy already. Nothing like a giant to lay out some hits.

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#26 Sanaa Montana
January 22 2013, 04:04PM
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Nail with 2 goals and 1 assist, J Schu with 3 assists. Oilers win 7-2.!..

Holy #@$% do some of them media fellas ask Nail stupid questions. Some of them don't even ask questions, they tell him things.

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#27 jeanshorts
January 22 2013, 04:10PM
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David S wrote:

That pic is from the Oilers Octane calendar. Highly recommended reading.

On an unrelated note, is it getting hot in here or what?

Hold on. THAT GIRL IS ON THE OCTANE?????????? I thought that was just one of those stock model shots where they photoshop Oiler colours onto it!!

* Immediately moves back to Edmonton*

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#28 Quicksilver ballet
January 22 2013, 06:51PM
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Professor Q wrote:

Wasn't he always known as that since he changed his number? Or was that just me?

That N64 has no future.

Yakupov will be wearing No.10 in September of 2013 (after Horcoff is bought out). No need to dwell on the short lived 64. If i were inclined to be hanging an auto'd Yakupov jersey in the rec room, it would surely be with a #10 on it.

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#29 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 22 2013, 09:05PM
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m3sh wrote:

Dubnyk is a disaster tonight.

he hasnt been great but he hasnt had much help at all.

was a good 1 game run the oilers had though. good times.

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#30 The Soup Fascist
January 22 2013, 09:09PM
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OilHub wrote:

Anyone know a site I can watch the game on?

For the love of God ....... WHY?????

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#31 dougtheslug
January 22 2013, 09:09PM
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When's the next lockout?

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#32 Sanaa Montana
January 22 2013, 11:00PM
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I really hope Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning is available on Shaw on Demand.

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#33 jonny94
January 22 2013, 11:33PM
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N64!

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#34 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2013, 08:00AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=447yaU_4DF8

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#35 FootballJimmy
January 22 2013, 01:38PM
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I was going to boycott Oilers games in protest of the lockout. If the picture above is an accurate depiction of this year's Octane uniform, I will certainly reconsider that position.

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#36 bdiddy18
January 22 2013, 02:08PM
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I'm torn...if I win a jersey can't decide between Jaroslav Pouzar or Reijo Ruotsalainen

gems

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#37 Thinker
January 22 2013, 02:08PM
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I want a signed Dean Clark jersey. See them find one of those.

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#38 Ales Hallsky
January 22 2013, 02:55PM
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I'd have a hard time deciding between elden reddick and Mariusz Czerkawski....ZDENO CIGER!!

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#39 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 22 2013, 02:57PM
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Oh come on now guys,

Dave Dryden, Eddie Mio.

Love old school goalies.

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#40 Mac962
January 22 2013, 02:58PM
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I will take a Glen Sather / John Muckler co-signed Jersey.

If not Peter Pockington !! Can you imagine someone wearing a Peter puck autographed jersey ?? ha ha hilarious. The old goat did do some good however.

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#41 DSF
January 22 2013, 03:14PM
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Stan Weir

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#42 Hall for Captain
January 22 2013, 03:21PM
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Pucker wrote:

Cowboy Flett !!

Blast from the past! I still remember going with my Dad to the bank back in '79 and seeing Cowboy Flett walk in with cowboy boots and cowboy hat to cash his game cheque at the local CIBC. Weird how that memory stuck in a 8 year old's head all these years.

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#43 CopperBlueBalls
January 22 2013, 03:26PM
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I had a feeling it was going to be 4-2 Oiler win myself. Would like to see Fistric, but i trust Krueger.

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#44 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 03:29PM
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Mac962 wrote:

I would bet Fistric is hugely impressed. Home town boy, opening night and he is a scratch on Favor of Bobby Orr himself. Against a Big team none the less, yes the sharks are not overly physical, but when they see the small lineup facing them you know they will be pumped to thump.

Its not like Potter is giving you something so special you just cant take him out. Yup, bet Fistric's family is impressed as well. Yes, we are here to win Hockey Games, but you are not sitting Eberle for Curtis Hamilton for crying out loud.

Be a bit of a Players Coach Ralph.. my gawd. I still hope there is another reason for not playing him.

No Doubt! The Sharks are the 'biggest soft team' around. I would looooove to see Fistric bust Thornton through the glass into the 1st row of seats.

I would have dressed both Hordy and Fistric.

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#45 StHenriOilBomb
January 22 2013, 03:54PM
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Mac962 wrote:

Not at all, i want wins. Thats why i stated at the end of my post, i hope there was another reason. Ralph has not relayed this to the Fans/media [not that he has too] that this is the Reason Fist is not playing yet. So dont get your panties in a knot ! lol...i want Victories-period.

Go Oil...

Perhaps an audition in COWTOWN Saturday night is best. Book it.

Krueger has explained himself:

"Krueger was very complimentary of Corey Potter today and explained why he has him ahead of Fistric. He likes his body positioning and how he moves the puck."

It was in that article you didn't read.

Also, for free, and as a complimentary jersey in the collection, it would be fun to get a #64 with the name Bonsignore. It would consistently remind me of how far the Oilers have come.

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#46 David S
January 22 2013, 04:00PM
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That pic is from the Oilers Octane calendar. Highly recommended reading.

On an unrelated note, is it getting hot in here or what?

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#47 Senator Theo
January 22 2013, 04:01PM
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Maybe a Bernie Nicholls #9.

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#48 @Oilanderp
January 22 2013, 04:30PM
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JOE NOSABONADDA wrote:

i'd pick a guy called Esa Tikkanen, BEEEUUUTAHHHY!!!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Esa_Tikkanen_@_Kopparberg_Street_Hockey.jpg

I would be too afraid that he would chirp me and I would be forced to feel the shame of not understanding a single thing he said.

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#49 Ales Hallsky
January 22 2013, 04:37PM
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Dallylamma wrote:

Happily the boobs stayed the same size...

I'd get a Bryan Marchment sweater. Rememeber when he collapsed Mike Gartner's lung with a hit? OLD TIME HOCKEY!

Remember when he tripped at the same time the penalty box door opened and he cracked his dome on the edge of the boards? One of the scariest things I've seen in a game...

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#50 The Soup Fascist
January 22 2013, 08:45PM
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Feel free to mix in a save, Dubey.

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