GDB 03: A KING SIZE CHALLENGE

Jason Gregor
January 24 2013 01:20PM

After facing the heaviest team in the NHL on Tuesday the Oilers face the 2nd heaviest team tonight. The LA Kings average weight is 210 pounds, and the only forwards shorter than 6'1" are Dustin Brown, 6'0", while Mike Richards and Brad Richardson stand 5'11". Richards and Brown are two of their most physical forwards, so the Oilers need to be ready to compete.

Tonight will be a great test to see how they bounce back from a disastrous first period against the Sharks.

The defending Stanley Cup champions are 0-2 while the Oilers want to erase Tuesday's debacle as quick as possible. Both teams admitted they will be in a sour mood this evening.

"We are a pretty pissed-off team right now. We don't have a win. We need one. I expect they will be mad too," said Jarret Stoll on my radio show yesterday. The Kings have yet to score a PP goal, and Stoll hinted they are more angry than worried at this point.

"We haven't played a full game yet. We were very good for the first two periods in Colorado, but we gave up a lead in the third, which was very uncharacteristic for our club. We can't afford to fall too far behind in the standings in such a short season, and I expect we will be much better and more intense on Thursday," Stoll continued.

The Oilers were singing the same tune.

"We didn't play very smart. We had lots of energy on Tuesday, but we let it control us. We all have to play better, especially early in the game and I'm looking forward to getting off to a good start," said Devan Dubnyk.

Dubnyk didn't seem rattled at all after a tough first period v. San Jose. I sensed he was more looking forward to bouncing back, rather than worrying about how he and the team played on Tuesday.

LINE UP CHANGES 

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

Teemu Hartikainen and Magnus Paajarvi will switch lines and wings. Krueger wants some speed with Horcoff and Smyth and he is looking for Hartikainen to be more physical on the fourth line.

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

Mark Fistric will play his first game as an Oiler and he'll be paired up with Ryan Whitney. Firstric will line up on the left side, because he's more comfortable there, but if he and Whitney switch sides during the play they won't worry switching back right away.

Krueger said Fistric is a "specialist", and he expects him to help the PK and then add some physical presence to the lineup.

Dubnyk
Danis

QUICK HITS

  • Ben Eager has a concussion and is out indefinitely. It is unclear how long he'll be out, but Steve Tambellini might have to find another forward who can play physical, because right now the Oilers don't have many bangers in the lineup.

  • Krueger suggested the Oilers will make a decision on Theo Peckham tonight. I expect he'll go down to OKC on a two-week conditioning stint. The Oilers will want to send a message to him and the rest of the team that it is unacceptable to show up in camp not in tip-top shape.

  • Nikolai Khabibulin is getting closer to playing. Krueger suggested it isn't weeks anymore. I wonder if you will see Khabibulin next Thursday when the Oilers play back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday?

  • Every Oiler I spoke with said basically the same thing regarding their discipline. They have to watch their sticks and not be too aggressive with them in the first ten minutes.

  • The Kings are 0 for 11 on the PP thus far. They are due to break out, so the Oilers need to play smart. The Oilers' PP is clicking at 33%, 3 for 9, and they'd really help their cause if they could force the Kings to take some penalties early in the game.

  • Detroit has the worst special teams in the NHL. They are 0 for 15 on the PP, and they've allowed 6 goals on 14 PK opportunities. It is early, but the Wings are a shadow of the team we've seen during the past two decades.

  • The Oilers only have five right-handed shots in the lineup. Eberle, Hemsky, Gagner, J.Schultz and Petry. All of their bottow two lines and 3rd D pairing shoot left. I suspect that presents challenges at certain areas on the ice.

  • Simon Gagne had a tumour the size of a tennis ball removed from his neck during the summer. He thinks it might have been a reason why he continued to have concussion-like symptoms. He is now healthy and hopeful his concussion issues are behind him.

     

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will play much better than they did on Tuesday, but the Kings are the defending Cup champions and they'll leave Rexall with their first win of the season, 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been rather quiet thus far, but he'll play he pick up two points and generate significantly more offence. The Kings will score their first PP goal of the season after the Oilers take another careless stick infraction early in the third period.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: During the first TV timeout a pancake will be tossed on the ice. With Dustin Penner a healthy scratch, many will wonder why it was thrown on the ice. Within seconds of the pancake landing, Penner will be seen leaving the pressbox with a smirk on his face. "I wasn't going to let any Oiler fan throw one first," he deadpanned.

FINAL COUNTDOWN

One of the hardest things in life is watching a grown man cry. Wanye lost five pounds on Tuesday, which is a lot for one day, but it's even scarier when all of it came out of his tear ducts. Even the free heroin beers at Rexall couldn't console him. But that wasn't the worst part. Yesterday he called me up bawling. I assumed he was still mad over the loss and how his man-crush, Jordan Eberle didn't score, but that wasn't it.

He's down in the dumps because his first annual Nation draft isn't sold out yet. He wanted $1,000 entries so he could raise a significant chunk of change for charity, and he's not taking it well. You'd think he'd be used to rejection by now, after getting shut down on a bi-weekly basis at the Pint, but he isn't.

Do me a favour, and him, and enter his draft. It's a pretty KICK-ASS draft to be honest.

First place wins a $5,000 shopping spree at United Cycle and there are 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. 

Wanye can't afford to lose another five pounds tonight. So enter. NOW.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#101 Alsker
January 24 2013, 09:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I forgot...its still preseason for the officials....unF***king believable....but hey both teams are having to deal with them...shameful just shameful

Avatar
#102 vetinari
January 24 2013, 09:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Our PK is like night-and-day compared to the game against SJ... definitely have to say that the PK is getting a hell of a workout tonight and holding up well... is the Fistric for Potter substitution the main reason?

Avatar
#103 thepeetso
January 24 2013, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@vetinari

Yes

Avatar
#104 Butters
January 24 2013, 09:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

These refs must have gone to the Terry Greggson/Mick McGeough school of reffing/Oiler jobbing.

Avatar
#105 Smokey
January 24 2013, 09:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Are these refs from the Lingere hockey league. Some of the calls are new and some are legit, but there's been a pile of missed calls or bogus calls.

Glad my kids went to bed, cause I have used a pile of tradesmen expletives that would get their mouths washed out with soap. Can hardly watch this crap.

Avatar
#106 Smokey
January 24 2013, 09:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Anyone wanna guess what hidden obscure penalty will be called next, or the over under on either missed calls or phantom calls will be called in this period.

Imagine a Stanley Cup being won on double faceoff infraction. Don Cherry will be addressing this on Saturday methinks.

Avatar
#107 Butters
January 24 2013, 09:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Vladdy T with 4 goals on the seaso already. Come on Nail put it in ездить!

Avatar
#108 Alsker
January 24 2013, 09:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

8 periods into this season and we are yet to hold the lead...weird(maybe its the rum) but they really remind me of the early 80s oil...you can see the talent just not the finish...it will come..we have seen this before and will enjoy their triumphs

Avatar
#109 Smokey
January 24 2013, 10:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Alsker wrote:

8 periods into this season and we are yet to hold the lead...weird(maybe its the rum) but they really remind me of the early 80s oil...you can see the talent just not the finish...it will come..we have seen this before and will enjoy their triumphs

Ya I just wish we had the GM who could augment the talent with functional toughness that is desperately missing.

Avatar
#110 Mikey
January 24 2013, 10:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Fistric draws yet another penalty.

Avatar
#111 Nathan
January 24 2013, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

So is it just me or is Hemsky having a bit of trouble getting his timing back this season. He went off-side on the zone entry in the 3rd period PP opportunity vs. the Kings, and it felt like the 5 or 6th time I've watched him go offside on zone entries so far, 3 games into the season.

Avatar
#112 David
January 24 2013, 10:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Did anyone else just see Gagner win two puck battles in a row behind the net by out muscling the defender? Too small - what a joke. Gagner's fine.

Avatar
#113 Professor Q
January 24 2013, 10:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Nathan wrote:

So is it just me or is Hemsky having a bit of trouble getting his timing back this season. He went off-side on the zone entry in the 3rd period PP opportunity vs. the Kings, and it felt like the 5 or 6th time I've watched him go offside on zone entries so far, 3 games into the season.

Hemsky, and the Oilers, have always had that trouble.

Avatar
#114 Clyde Frog
January 24 2013, 10:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

GOAL!

Avatar
#115 Clyde Frog
January 24 2013, 10:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

And the refs have decided they didn't impact the game enough...

Le Sigh...

Avatar
#116 Smokey
January 24 2013, 10:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

FFS, these refs should be fired. No call till 2 minutes after the fact. This is up there with McGoos historical night. Just useful. Just embarrassing

Avatar
#117 StHenriOilBomb
January 24 2013, 10:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

I NEVER blame the refs. I'm the guy sticking up for them. Even I feel ripped off.

Avatar
#118 Clyde Frog
January 24 2013, 10:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

YAKUPOV SCORES!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar
#119 StHenriOilBomb
January 24 2013, 10:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

HOLY YAKIN DRAMA BATMAN!

Avatar
#120 Smokey
January 24 2013, 10:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

There is a God...I BELIEVE...

Take that refs.

Avatar
#121 @Oilanderp
January 24 2013, 10:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I can't believe what I am watching.

Avatar
#122 Nathan
January 24 2013, 10:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Nail #64 doing what the stupid refs couldn't, making this game fair! HUGE goal by Yak!!

Avatar
#123 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 24 2013, 10:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Oilanderp is right, this is too much for my brain to process.

That cele, I love the swagger Yak brings

Avatar
#124 Locksmithluke
January 24 2013, 10:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Yakupov for prime minister!!

Avatar
#125 Wait until next year!!
January 24 2013, 10:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Wow

Avatar
#126 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 24 2013, 10:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

um. please stop with the cheering. the oilers have no depth at d. you cannot be a fanboy.

Avatar
#127 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 24 2013, 10:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

NAIL YAKUPOV EDMONTON OILERS STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSSSSSSA

Avatar
#128 Captain Planet
January 24 2013, 10:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I think I feel for Yakupov what Wanye does for Eberle.

This kid loves the game so much, its awesome to watch

Avatar
#129 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 24 2013, 10:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

PROPS FOR EVERYBODY

Avatar
#130 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
January 24 2013, 10:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Dubbie says "Any questions"

Avatar
#131 David
January 24 2013, 10:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

When are we going to trade that Gagner guy. Our defense is so bad. Oh wait. Gagner's awesome.

Avatar
#132 @Oilanderp
January 24 2013, 10:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Sweet Lordy godballs

Avatar
#133 Smokey
January 24 2013, 10:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Oilers motto should be... Won't be denied...

Avatar
#134 steelymac
January 24 2013, 10:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Thats team building baby!!!

Avatar
#135 Locksmithluke
January 24 2013, 10:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Un-f***ing-believable...!!! Yelling so loud, fully expecting EPS to pay a visit!! Go Oilers!!

Avatar
#136 Professor Q
January 24 2013, 10:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I still want Krueger to go at it about the refs!

Avatar
#137 michael
January 24 2013, 10:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Just WIN Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Yakkkkkkkkkkk. What a night. That my friends is what we call a "Nail" biter

Avatar
#138 Mikey
January 24 2013, 10:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

What a game!!

Avatar
#139 StHenriOilBomb
January 24 2013, 11:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Most fun game I've watched in a looong time. Thanks Oilers!

Avatar
#140 Lofty
January 24 2013, 11:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Anyone been to yak city?

Still a terrible no goal. The crease is there for a reason. After the 2nd dive by quick the stripes should have caught on.

Fist was good tonight.

Avatar
#141 m3sh
January 24 2013, 11:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

grr @#$(* PVR recording ended before the Yak goal, all so the wife could watch her Grey's Anatomy. FML.

Sooo... I hear we won? :)

Avatar
#142 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 24 2013, 11:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

yak city bitch, yak yak city bitch...

I could get used to this

Avatar
#143 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 24 2013, 11:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@m3sh

Flip Sportscentre on, for the love of god man

Avatar
#144 Shifty203
January 24 2013, 11:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Fistric was awesome. Brought exactley what we need to the lineup. I hope he gets alot more games.

I'm praying that I don't have to listen to a bunch of people calling in tommorrow to 1260, and whining that Yakupov's celebration was too much. It was great, and its awesome to see that passion again.

Avatar
#145 Smytty's Jibs
January 24 2013, 11:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT I LOVE EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU! MMMMMMMMMWWWAAAAHH!!!

Avatar
#146 Czar
January 24 2013, 11:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Who the hell let DSF ref tonight?

Avatar
#147 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 24 2013, 11:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Maybe the best celebration I've ever seen...

Avatar
#148 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 24 2013, 11:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxopViU98Xo

most emotional game since 06... I'll need a week to come down from this.

Avatar
#149 Rocket
January 24 2013, 11:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Krueger Smoothing on the ref's: "I'm not to worried about it."

Avatar
#150 Locksmithluke
January 24 2013, 11:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Shifty203

...Agreed. This kid brings that "pizazz" that this team NEEDS!!

Comments are closed for this article.