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

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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 Gerald R. Ford
January 24 2013, 11:15PM
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That was the drunkenest, angriest, most redneckedest crowd we've seen in a long,long time.

In other words, BEAUTY, eh?!

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#2 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 24 2013, 10:46PM
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um. please stop with the cheering. the oilers have no depth at d. you cannot be a fanboy.

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#3 The Towel Boy
January 24 2013, 01:38PM
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Is this game being played in the new arena I've been hearing so much about?

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#4 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 24 2013, 01:55PM
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BingBong wrote:

Is Penner really a healthy scratch? What, too many donairs?

50% of concessions, doesn't want to miss out.

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#5 Smytty's Jibs
January 24 2013, 03:30PM
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GDP: Fans who made their way to Rexall ill be treated to a sloppy, yet exciting game. Final score-- 6-5 Oil.

OGDP: The Oilers power play will be lethal! Going 4-5 on the night with production from both units. An Eberle snapper from the high slot will chase Quick from the game.

NSOGDP: Heading out to the parking lot after collecting 2G, 2A and the first star of the game, Baby Nuge will be greeted by a voice. "Great game kid." He turns around to see Princess Paulina Gretzky, who traveled to E-town with Stoll. "I havent eaten all day, would you like to grab a bite?" she says. Nuge agrees and follows her into a limo, where 1980's Janet Jones is waiting. The Nuge turn around and gives a knowing wink to nobody in particular. They go to Arby's, and he CRUSHES 3 Beef 'n Cheddars like a champ!

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#6 David
January 24 2013, 10:19PM
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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.

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#7 Bleak Winter
January 24 2013, 11:47PM
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I'm happy the Oilers won. The fan part of me still revels in the victory and I was just as caught up by the emotion of it all. -BUT- Regardless of the outcome, if that's in any way an indication of how they want to call games now, then hockey can just go back to wherever the hell it was for the last three months, and stay there.

Who thinks all the glove and faceoff penalties improve the game? How do they expect fans to come back if they load up a game with frivolous technicalities??? I was staying relatively impartial to the lockout but I'm not interested in following any sport that resembles whatever that was. That's not hockey, that was two snarky b!tches calling the sh!t out of the back half of the rulebook while a game was trying to be played... If I want law and procedure I'll go watch some lawyers do their thing at the courthouse or turn on question period on CPAC.

You just know the refs were racking their brains trying to come up with some reason to review Yakupov's goal. What? No obvious illegal curve of the stick penalty? Maybe even "Hey Yak! Two minutes for looking so good!" Can they call that?

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#8 916oiler
January 24 2013, 02:06PM
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HAHAHHA pancake. That brought a happy tear to my eye :') but it was at work and I lol'd and everyone looked and that brought a frowny face to my....face :(

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#9 Clyde Frog
January 24 2013, 10:35PM
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And the refs have decided they didn't impact the game enough...

Le Sigh...

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#10 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 24 2013, 11:18PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

That was the drunkenest, angriest, most redneckedest crowd we've seen in a long,long time.

In other words, BEAUTY, eh?!

small children are going home dropping f bombs and chanting bullsh1t.

it is a beautiful thing

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Lets not forget Hall. He drove the bus all night.

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#12 Spaghetti - Team Facalto
January 24 2013, 01:21PM
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Here's hoping that FISTric crushes someone tonight.

GOILERS!!!!!!!!

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#13 @Oilanderp
January 24 2013, 06:33PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

I keep hearing about this Sandpaper player. I know he doesn't play for us but according to a lot of posters here he seems to play for every team we play against. Funny he never shows up on the score sheet. I check and double check all the time, but can never seem to find his name anywhere. Is he Canadian, Russian, Swede, where's he from? Confused???

#8 Geoff Sanderpaperson. Being at the end of his lengthy career when he played for us, he didn't show up on the score sheet.... much.

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#14 geoilersgist
January 24 2013, 08:53PM
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remember that time smid got more penalty minutes than minutes in the period?

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#15 David
January 24 2013, 10:53PM
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When are we going to trade that Gagner guy. Our defense is so bad. Oh wait. Gagner's awesome.

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#16 Shifty203
January 24 2013, 11:08PM
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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.

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#17 Rocket
January 24 2013, 11:18PM
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That Yakupov goal was almost Eberle-like.

CLUTCH!

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#18 Charlie N64
January 24 2013, 11:19PM
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IT'S A GRETZMAS EVE MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#19 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 24 2013, 11:34PM
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Jonathan Quick is Nail Yakupovs bitch. Just shut up and stop the friggen puck Quick.

Only thing that may have bettered the existing outcome would have been Yakupov netting the winner in OT.

Fistric was solid tonight. He should be in the top 6 d for the rest of the season.

A little credit to Dubey. Two strong performances out of the three so far.

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#20 The Soup Fascist
January 25 2013, 12:27AM
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Laddy should get a pat on the back. Kid is all heart. To quote Yak, "Smid took a good 5". Actually he took 23, but we get it Yak.

A good 5, indeed.

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#21 tileguy
January 25 2013, 09:07AM
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not one accolade for belanger winning that faceoff straight back to the point, shame on ON.

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#22 JOVANdaJAMAICAN
January 24 2013, 01:46PM
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Why doesn't coach K put the demolition man Darcy Horsichuk back in mon? I have a feeling were gonna get pushed around mon.

He also scored 2goals during the shinny game aka he's our top goal scorer mon

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#23 I'm a Scientist!
January 24 2013, 02:21PM
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Best NSOGDP Ever!

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#24 Phixieus666
January 24 2013, 02:59PM
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Heres to the game that will likely once again prove the that Oil are just too small to push other players around. Cheers. Seriously I would have thought that Hordi would be in tonight. We need more physical guys and I guess I'm just not much of a Petrell fan. We need some better guys in the mix here that can do the banging and crashing. Also I'm still all for Dubinsky need to find a way to make that happen.

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#25 Walter Sobchak
January 24 2013, 04:48PM
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Smytty's Jibs wrote:

GDP: Fans who made their way to Rexall ill be treated to a sloppy, yet exciting game. Final score-- 6-5 Oil.

OGDP: The Oilers power play will be lethal! Going 4-5 on the night with production from both units. An Eberle snapper from the high slot will chase Quick from the game.

NSOGDP: Heading out to the parking lot after collecting 2G, 2A and the first star of the game, Baby Nuge will be greeted by a voice. "Great game kid." He turns around to see Princess Paulina Gretzky, who traveled to E-town with Stoll. "I havent eaten all day, would you like to grab a bite?" she says. Nuge agrees and follows her into a limo, where 1980's Janet Jones is waiting. The Nuge turn around and gives a knowing wink to nobody in particular. They go to Arby's, and he CRUSHES 3 Beef 'n Cheddars like a champ!

Best Game Day Prediction Ever! Well played!

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#26 Clyde Frog
January 24 2013, 08:08PM
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Man these Kings suck, the Sharks had us down like 4 - 1 by this point last game.

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#27 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 24 2013, 08:21PM
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I think Hall or Yak slept with the ref's girlfriend or something, he's all Kings all the time

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#28 @Oilanderp
January 24 2013, 08:22PM
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I knew about the visor rule since Petrell got it last year, but to add the instigating rule at the same time? Come the hell on...

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#29 Clyde Frog
January 24 2013, 08:24PM
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@@Oilanderp

Especially since he skates over starts yapping then the King drops HIS gloves and starts punching him...

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#30 m3sh
January 24 2013, 08:30PM
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sigh... this ref is bull****

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Lofty wrote:

I know a league that needs'em. Horcoff gets called for goalie interference whe the guy is 10 ft outside away from the net. Then Smid gets 4 for talking to a guy and taking some punches. Now they give LA a 4 min penalty that was ridiculous. Put the whistles away let them play.

Ooo ohh, you meant refs.... Nevermind

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#32 Clyde Frog
January 24 2013, 09:06PM
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So is there a hockey game going on? Or is this simply a referee clinic?

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#33 vetinari
January 24 2013, 09:10PM
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Is there a record of some type for the number of different calls made by a set of ref's in one game?

I'm expecting the ref's to call too many #1 picks on the ice next?

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#34 Alsker
January 24 2013, 09:36PM
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I forgot...its still preseason for the officials....unF***king believable....but hey both teams are having to deal with them...shameful just shameful

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#35 vetinari
January 24 2013, 09:36PM
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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?

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#36 Smokey
January 24 2013, 09:49PM
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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.

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#37 Smokey
January 24 2013, 09:54PM
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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.

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#38 Smokey
January 24 2013, 10:07PM
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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.

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#39 Mikey
January 24 2013, 10:11PM
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Fistric draws yet another penalty.

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#40 @Oilanderp
January 24 2013, 10:44PM
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I can't believe what I am watching.

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#41 Nathan
January 24 2013, 10:45PM
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Nail #64 doing what the stupid refs couldn't, making this game fair! HUGE goal by Yak!!

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#42 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 24 2013, 10:46PM
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NAIL YAKUPOV EDMONTON OILERS STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSSSSSSA

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#43 Captain Planet
January 24 2013, 10:47PM
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I think I feel for Yakupov what Wanye does for Eberle.

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

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#44 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 24 2013, 10:51PM
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PROPS FOR EVERYBODY

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Dubbie says "Any questions"

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#46 @Oilanderp
January 24 2013, 10:53PM
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Sweet Lordy godballs

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#47 Smokey
January 24 2013, 10:53PM
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Oilers motto should be... Won't be denied...

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#48 Locksmithluke
January 24 2013, 10:54PM
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Un-f***ing-believable...!!! Yelling so loud, fully expecting EPS to pay a visit!! Go Oilers!!

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#49 Professor Q
January 24 2013, 10:55PM
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I still want Krueger to go at it about the refs!

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#50 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
January 24 2013, 11:03PM
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yak city bitch, yak yak city bitch...

I could get used to this

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