DEJA VU

Jason Gregor
January 31 2013 12:01AM

For the second time in six games Nail Yakupov came through with a huge goal for the Edmonton Oilers. Last Thursday he tied the game with 4.7 seconds remaining, and tonight he potted the winner from almost the identical spot on the ice and once again he batted the puck out of mid-air.

The kid loves the pressure, and now the Oilers have won two consecutive games for the first time this season.

Yakupov, like most of the Oilers, was average during regulation. The Oilers were fighting the puck all night. Many of them had troubles receiving and giving passes, but they battled through and won.

They won mainly due to Devan Dubnyk's excellent play for the second straight game.

Dubnyk controlled his rebounds, was sound positionally and he seems to be gaining more confidence every game. I don't see Krueger resting him tomorrow in San Jose, and if he plays well there, the Oilers could play him Saturday afternoon in Colorado as well.

QUICK HITS

  • Ryan Smyth played his best game of the season. He was strong on the boards and was instrumental in Lennart Petrell's first goal of the season.
     
  • Petrell was the best skater on the ice for the Oilers. He scored, created some other chances and had some key blocked shots. The Oilers will need him to use his size and continue to go to the net. Solid game.
     
  • Even though they've won two straight, I suspect Krueger might play Mark Fistric against a big San Jose team on Thursday. Corey Potter struggled, and if Krueger was being honest when he said he didn't want guys sitting too long, then it makes a lot of sense to play him tomorrow.
     
  • The Oilers can't afford to lose Shawn Horcoff. Shane Doan hit him in the back late in the game and Horcoff was clearly shaken up on the play. He didn't take another shift, and if he can't play the Oilers likely have to airlift Anton Lander or Chris Vande Velde in from OKC.
     
  • The Doan hit was a cheap shot, but let's not get crazy and start screaming for a suspension. Should have been a penalty, but that's it.
     
  • Sam Gagner had another good game. He looks quicker and stronger than last year. I'm sure the Gagner debates will heat up soon.
     
  • I liked Yakupov's celebration. He stood there and waved his teammates over, and when Hall came close his face lit up. The kid loves scoring, and his teammates love his ability to come through at key times. They will likely juice him about his celebration, but that's what teammates do, but make no mistake teammates love having guys who can step up when the game is on the line.
     
  • The Oilers still had too many giveaways in the neutral zone. They will have to be better tomorrow v. the undefeated Sharks if they hope to stretch their win streak to three games.
     
  • It was a rare off-night for Jordan Eberle in the puck-handling and passing department. It is rare to see him fight  pucks like he did tonight. The puck was bouncing all over, and the ice didn't look great, but rarely do you see him miss short passes or over handle the puck. I suspect he'll be much better in San Jose.
     
  • On the first day of training camp I asked Taylor Hall what he worked on the most in the AHL. He said he worked hard at improving his passing. In seven games he has seven assists and one goal. He's not suddenly Adam Oates, but he seems much more comfortable passing.
     
  • Dubnyk has a .944 SV% and 1.8 GAA in the five games outside of the first period v. the Sharks. Add in the 20 minute 1st period v. SJ he drops to .916SV% and 2.74 GAA. He's been very good for 15 of the 16 periods he's played.
     
  • The Coyotes and their fans were complaining that Yakupov's goal shouldn't have counted because it was a hand pass from Ryan Whitney. The replay shows the puck hit Whitney's glove, but he never made any motion or attempt to pass it. Here are two different rules from the NHL rule book. After reading them, it looks like the ref made the correct call.

Rule 67 - Handling Puck

67.1 Handling Puck - A player shall be permitted to stop or “bat” a puck in the air with his open hand, or push it along the ice with his hand, and the play shall not be stopped unless, in the opinion of the Referee, he has deliberately directed the puck to a teammate in any zone other than the defending zone, in which case the play shall be stopped and  a face-off conducted (see Rule 79 – Hand Pass). Play will not be stopped for any hand pass by players in their own defending zone.

Rule 79 - Hand Pass

79.1 Hand Pass - A player shall be permitted to stop or “bat” a puck in the air with his open hand, or push it along the ice with his hand, and the play shall not be stopped unless, in the opinion of the Referee, he has directed the puck to a teammate.

A player shall be permitted to catch the puck out of the air but must immediately place it or knock it down to the ice. If he catches it and skates with it, either to avoid a check or to gain a territorial advantage over his opponent, a minor penalty shall be assessed for “closing his hand on the puck” under Rule 67 – Handling Puck.

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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 Muji
January 31 2013, 01:24AM
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I'm a big fan of Sam Gagner. Always have been; even when he's slumping. He thinks the game at a high level, similar to Eberle and RNH. You can't have too much of a good thing.

Most people somehow forget that he was born in 1989 and is only 23 years old. He's not even 1 year older than Jordan Eberle.

Give him a break on his deficiencies because he's still improving. Trade him and you'll likely look very bad in a few years.

PS: Yakupov!!! PS2: Derek Morris is a bitch. PS3: Shane Doan is a bitch.

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#2 GloryDays
January 31 2013, 08:06AM
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Miyagi's Chopsticks wrote:

Gagner - he has looked good this season, but it's hard to see him fit into the long term plans of the team.

I have liked how he has played this year, but his abilities are too similar to RNH. For the longest time, the Oilers have been too easy to play against, too small, and not physical enough.

In order to win, it's best to have a well balanced team. You need some size, good checkers, reliable guys to take faceoff, etc. in addition to the high end skill this team has.

Looking at the Oilers, they're better off if Gagner develops into a strong two way forward who can win faceoffs and be tough to play against than a 60-70 point one dimensional forward. Or if he's not capable to do those sort of things, the Oilers are better off looking to acquire the 2C that can fill this role.

Get bent!

Gags is a great Hockey player who has developed and grown with the organization for 5 years now.

I wish we could trade ridiculous fans who always find fault, rather than seeing the positive contributions of Oiler draft picks.

The grass is very seldom greener on the other side of the fence. The Oil are finally learning to be patient and develop our own drafts, but some fans always want to trade away that hard work, and financial commitment.

Stop It!!! Gags does not need to be a foot taller , and 50 lbs heavier in order to fit into the Oilers long term plans.

If your unhappy with his play, and the overall make up of the Oilers, become a Flames fan and GET BENT!

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#3 Tkachev
January 31 2013, 12:12AM
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didnt win a jersey while at the pint tonight... i had to drink my sorrows away,,, im a lil drunk now, id like a jersye Jason

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#4 Old Retired Guy
January 31 2013, 11:01AM
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Lets stay focused boys.

At the beginning of the year we were all hoping

1) Dubnyk would play better / make significant progress

2) Gags would play better / make significant progress

3) Justin Schultz could come close to reproducing his AHL performance at the NHL level

4) Hemsky would have a bounce back year

5) YAK would contribute on offense and contend for the Calder

6) Petry and Smid would not fall off from last years progression

7) Krueger would be an improvement over Renney and give the kids big minutes in critical situations

8) The Team would get a little tougher...ala Hartikainen and Fistric

9) Guys like Belanger and others would improve at least slightly

10) Injuries would not be our downfall

Looks to me like we're 10 for 10 so far. It's early but things seem to be progressing according to plan.

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
January 31 2013, 09:19AM
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All this talk of 5v5 is just a bunch of rubbish. Who cares when the goals come during a game, as long as you score one more than your opponent, you're fine.

As per Neil Smith on Sportsnet last evening.

Best club 5v5 last season, the out of the playoffs Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 29th place most successful club 5v5, was the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.

The topic of 5v5 micro analysis is much ado bout nothing. It needs to be parked right next to Jordan Eberles unsustainable shooting %. We must all be waiting with bated breath till the advanced statistic type launch their pre-game warmup shooting percentages.

This 5v5 B/S........just another one of those things that don't matter.

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#6 m3sh
January 31 2013, 12:08AM
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FIST win-streak!

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#7 John Chambers
January 31 2013, 07:42AM
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I was big on the "trade Gagner" bandwagon during the summer & lockout, but he has really played a disciplined, professional game. Truthfully I'd like to see him centre Hall and Eberle because Gags would offer more balance to that line, and quite frankly RNH hasn't developed into a very effective 5x5 player yet.

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#8 season not played
January 31 2013, 07:49AM
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Phoenix sure doesn't lose very well. Looked like the whining that was going on when LA took them out in last years playoffs. What did they think they were going to accomplish by staying on the ice? Morris and Doan are like little girls.....

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#9 Marcus
January 31 2013, 08:54AM
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Muji wrote:

I'm a big fan of Sam Gagner. Always have been; even when he's slumping. He thinks the game at a high level, similar to Eberle and RNH. You can't have too much of a good thing.

Most people somehow forget that he was born in 1989 and is only 23 years old. He's not even 1 year older than Jordan Eberle.

Give him a break on his deficiencies because he's still improving. Trade him and you'll likely look very bad in a few years.

PS: Yakupov!!! PS2: Derek Morris is a bitch. PS3: Shane Doan is a bitch.

+1. Sam is coming into his own this year. Not saying we couldn't use a bigger C-man on this team, we definitely could use a little more size and muscle down the middle.

With the investment that Oilers have made with Sam, I could see him successfully filling a #2C or #3C role for a decade yet.

RNH has to step it up. He's got some points and it is only year two, but to me he's far more uncomfortable out there and not finding his groove as he did last year. Strange since he should be in mid-season stride right now.

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#10 Starving Student
January 31 2013, 09:14AM
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Marcus wrote:

+1. Sam is coming into his own this year. Not saying we couldn't use a bigger C-man on this team, we definitely could use a little more size and muscle down the middle.

With the investment that Oilers have made with Sam, I could see him successfully filling a #2C or #3C role for a decade yet.

RNH has to step it up. He's got some points and it is only year two, but to me he's far more uncomfortable out there and not finding his groove as he did last year. Strange since he should be in mid-season stride right now.

I was going to say the exact same....

So instead I'll talk about this time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.

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#11 @Oilanderp
January 31 2013, 12:22PM
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~I completely agree that we should trade Ganger for a bigger C who gets less points ... but ... is ... bigger. This new center will not surpass Ganger in any measurable category except height/weight ... and... it ... will ... be ... *breathes through mouth* ... better.~

*drools and twitches eye*

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#12 Bigfan
January 31 2013, 01:12AM
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My Oilersnation.com hoodie arrived in the mail today!

I got my hoodie, I got my hoodie, I got my hoodie ...

It is great.

Yes!

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#13 Rob
January 31 2013, 03:50AM
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I think the Oil are driving teams to distraction at times. The loss of control by Doan and Morris tonight may be two cases in point. In some other games this year I've noticed opposition players take dumb retaliatory penalties out of apparent frustration. I love it Oil...keep it coming. Now if the GM could find a couple of truculent players up front I might just get hopeful.

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#14 vetinari
January 31 2013, 06:41AM
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All Hail, Nail!

And, frankly, Petrell and Dubnyk were awesome as well.

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#15 pelhem grenville
January 31 2013, 08:03AM
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...NEXT GAME WED JAN 31 ?

NEEDS TO READ thursday

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#16 A-Mc
January 31 2013, 09:03AM
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Always liked Petrell.. The guy is always going.

GJ Petrell! Glad you were rewarded for your continued efforts with a goal.

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#17 Phixieus666
January 31 2013, 09:31AM
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Woody wrote:

If Horcoff is hurt and can't go tonight that obviously leaves a big hole down the middle considering #10 likely would have spent most of the game going head to head with Big Joe . I've read a few comments about the inability to get a C to SJ in time for the game tonight and that got me thinking...

If Katz is so rich, and the org is so committed to winning and the shortened season amplifies the importance of every single available point, then why on earth wouldn't the Oilers send the RX1 Lear jet to pick up a body from OKC and delivery him to SJ in time for the game tonight?

Seriously, what would it cost, in the big picture of big expense NHL? What, maybe 20 or 30k? Seems like a pretty nominal expense to ensure your team is not seriously shorthanded at a critical position against one of the best teams in the league.

Darryl, get off your wallet and send your plane to pick up Arco or Green or VV.

You know what I would do.... Make that Belanger Line your third line. Put Smyth in the middle with Petrell and Peckham on the wings and then just tell them to create some distruction along with big FIST. First game back Peckham completely steam rolls Jumbo Joe with his 260lb supposedly out of shapeness while Petrell takes out Marleau, Fistric takes out Clowe and Smyth crashes the net like a man possessed. ahaaahahahahah ya thats what I'm talking about.

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#19 Clyde Frog
January 31 2013, 09:35AM
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So if Horcoff can't go can we bring up the new secret weapon?

Jonathan Cheechoo!?

Would be perfect timing to have him revenge himself with 12 goals against the Sharks; then we can promptly send him right back down.

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#20 The Soup Fascist
January 31 2013, 10:22AM
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John Chambers wrote:

I was big on the "trade Gagner" bandwagon during the summer & lockout, but he has really played a disciplined, professional game. Truthfully I'd like to see him centre Hall and Eberle because Gags would offer more balance to that line, and quite frankly RNH hasn't developed into a very effective 5x5 player yet.

I could not agree more. I "half jokingly" brought this up the other day and the more I thought about it, the more I think it is a great move. At the risk of rehashing a couple of thoughts previously posted:

1. Gagner has had chemistry with Hall / Ebs before.

2. Gagner is more equipped to deal with the other teams toughs than RNH (he has "old man power" at the ripe old age of 23). I realize we are still small on top 6, but Gagner does look stronger this year.

3. RNH would have more luck than Gagner currently does, finding his highly skilled but "nomadic" linemates Hemsky and Yakupov with his vision.

4. It gets RNH away from checking line / shutdown d from the opposition. As you have indicated RNH seems to be having trouble with the other team's toughs.

5. Can still play RNH with the Hall / Ebs on PP where the time / space is far more easier to come by.

6. RNH has good defensive / backchecking abilities that may be required when Yak's inexperience shows up.

I wish we had more size up front too. But Ralphie has to play the hand that is dealt him. I agree JC, this is a viable option I would not mind seeing. Plus this would place Gagner as the defacto #1 center which will cause several people to require meds and / or shock treatment. Make it so.

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#21 Rob...
January 31 2013, 11:11AM
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Congrats to Coyotes fans. Reading Puck Daddy's post on the win last night I now have them placed at the top of my worst fans in the league list... move over Canucks & Leafs fans.

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#22 Kid Line Pillowfight
January 31 2013, 12:22AM
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Tkachev wrote:

didnt win a jersey while at the pint tonight... i had to drink my sorrows away,,, im a lil drunk now, id like a jersye Jason

This is beyond hilarious, I can't stop laughing

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#23 Miyagi's Chopsticks
January 31 2013, 12:41AM
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Gagner - he has looked good this season, but it's hard to see him fit into the long term plans of the team.

I have liked how he has played this year, but his abilities are too similar to RNH. For the longest time, the Oilers have been too easy to play against, too small, and not physical enough.

In order to win, it's best to have a well balanced team. You need some size, good checkers, reliable guys to take faceoff, etc. in addition to the high end skill this team has.

Looking at the Oilers, they're better off if Gagner develops into a strong two way forward who can win faceoffs and be tough to play against than a 60-70 point one dimensional forward. Or if he's not capable to do those sort of things, the Oilers are better off looking to acquire the 2C that can fill this role.

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#24 Shaun Doe
January 31 2013, 12:55AM
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Miyagi's Chopsticks wrote:

Gagner - he has looked good this season, but it's hard to see him fit into the long term plans of the team.

I have liked how he has played this year, but his abilities are too similar to RNH. For the longest time, the Oilers have been too easy to play against, too small, and not physical enough.

In order to win, it's best to have a well balanced team. You need some size, good checkers, reliable guys to take faceoff, etc. in addition to the high end skill this team has.

Looking at the Oilers, they're better off if Gagner develops into a strong two way forward who can win faceoffs and be tough to play against than a 60-70 point one dimensional forward. Or if he's not capable to do those sort of things, the Oilers are better off looking to acquire the 2C that can fill this role.

I don't know, from what I have seen Gagner had competed extremely hard for pucks at both ends of the ice and even seems to protect them much better than previous years. He's deffinetly stood out for me this season for all the right reasons that is. I agree with you in that he's never going to be that rough and tumble physical presence as his body type doesn't quite make him a bruiser but look at the heart and hustle of a guy like Brendan Gallagher and you can see that little guys can make up for size in determination (Tyler Ennis would be another example). Just my observations so far

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#25 The Real Scuba Steve
January 31 2013, 01:02AM
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Could be rookie of the year.

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#26 striatic
January 31 2013, 02:30AM
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normally i'd chastise the coyotes for their baseless whining and sucker punches over the OT goal, but tonight must have been difficult emotionally with the low turn out at the game coupled with the non payment from the prospective owner.

a really rough night for that team and their broadcast crew.

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#27 Puritania
January 31 2013, 03:34AM
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Muji wrote:

I'm a big fan of Sam Gagner. Always have been; even when he's slumping. He thinks the game at a high level, similar to Eberle and RNH. You can't have too much of a good thing.

Most people somehow forget that he was born in 1989 and is only 23 years old. He's not even 1 year older than Jordan Eberle.

Give him a break on his deficiencies because he's still improving. Trade him and you'll likely look very bad in a few years.

PS: Yakupov!!! PS2: Derek Morris is a bitch. PS3: Shane Doan is a bitch.

Don't forget Yandle is a bitch, he facewashed/slapped Dubnyk after the Coyote goal.

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#28 eastcoastoil
January 31 2013, 07:56AM
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Morning Gregor, With the sharks coming up how do you think the line up changes?

Any word on Eager?

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#29 oliveoilers
January 31 2013, 08:17AM
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Bigfan wrote:

My Oilersnation.com hoodie arrived in the mail today!

I got my hoodie, I got my hoodie, I got my hoodie ...

It is great.

Yes!

Me too! Can't wait for a formal occasion like a weddingor funural of a casual acquaintance to sport my new hoodie.

Good game last night, would have loved someone to punch doan after cheap hit.Whitney did well looking yak. Hockey gods saw justice done.

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#31 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 31 2013, 08:34AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Depends on Horcoff's health...I'd put in Fistric for Potter, but that is it...

Oilers would have to recall a C...they can't put in Hordichuk for Horcoff...56,91,37 or 94 can't play centre...

Can they get someone from OKC there in time? I wouldn't be shocked if for one game we see Smyth at center.

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#32 mouthbreather
January 31 2013, 08:35AM
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Hi all, I was looking into getting NHL live.com my question is does it black out Edmonton's games when they play at home? Or anywhere else for that matter? I live out of town so regular cable is not an option.

Go Oil!!!!!

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#33 Phixieus666
January 31 2013, 08:44AM
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@Jason Gregor

Gregor I have to disagree with you. Doan's hit on Horcoff is everything the league is trying to stop from happening. He dropped his shoulder right into the numbers. To me that is a worse hit than anything Sutton did last season and he kept getting suspensions. Ask yourself this, if Hordi had done the dame thing to a PHX player would there have been a suspension? I dont care what type of player it is or who he plays for that kind of hit is just dirty and deserving of a suspension. Morris's actions also deserved some sort of action. Not sure if is should be a 1 game suspension or just a fine but seriously. He straight up attacked a player when the game was finished all bar fight style. This is a reason fighting in a game gets such a bad rap because of idiots like this.

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#34 jdubbs
January 31 2013, 08:50AM
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i agree Hall looks more comfortable passing but he seems to be opting to try to make cute passes to Ebs & Nuge instead of ripping a shot on net. he obviously is working on his passing game so i hope it will even out and he will get back to shooting the puck more, hence why they scored in OT... he shot. with his skills and opportunities he should be averaging close to 5 shots a night. and seems he is only about 3. he's playing great just goals could come along with all those assists.

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#35 justDOit
January 31 2013, 09:00AM
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mouthbreather wrote:

Hi all, I was looking into getting NHL live.com my question is does it black out Edmonton's games when they play at home? Or anywhere else for that matter? I live out of town so regular cable is not an option.

Go Oil!!!!!

If the game is on a tv station in your area, then it will be blacked out.

If you do a google search for a browser extension called Stealthy, you`ll find your answer to the blackouts.

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#36 Phixieus666
January 31 2013, 09:08AM
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@Marcus

Gags has played great and as far as size up the middle... as long as hes winning faceoffs it doesn't matter. You can put the size on the wings. As for Nuge you have to remember this season he is player tougher competition and isn't being sheltered as much by the coach. I think he has played good its just with guys like Hall, Eberle, and Yakupov around him that can be so explosive he gets overlooked. There is nothing wrong with his game.

The Dubby vs Bulin debate I would have to base it all on how Dubby is feeling today and how he is looking during the warm up. If he is looking or feeling tired, or things just look off during warmups, throw Bulin in there. I honestly think that with as much experience as Bulin has, he will have no trouble just stepping after not playing for so long and playing decent. Its like an old fighter, he doesn't need sparring he just needs to stay in shape.

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#37 Woody
January 31 2013, 09:17AM
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If Horcoff is hurt and can't go tonight that obviously leaves a big hole down the middle considering #10 likely would have spent most of the game going head to head with Big Joe . I've read a few comments about the inability to get a C to SJ in time for the game tonight and that got me thinking...

If Katz is so rich, and the org is so committed to winning and the shortened season amplifies the importance of every single available point, then why on earth wouldn't the Oilers send the RX1 Lear jet to pick up a body from OKC and delivery him to SJ in time for the game tonight?

Seriously, what would it cost, in the big picture of big expense NHL? What, maybe 20 or 30k? Seems like a pretty nominal expense to ensure your team is not seriously shorthanded at a critical position against one of the best teams in the league.

Darryl, get off your wallet and send your plane to pick up Arco or Green or VV.

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#38 The Goalie 1976
January 31 2013, 09:18AM
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Poor Yakupov,

He does the opposite of his controversial 'alone' celebration, and still gets grief for it. I guess he should just put his head down and skate to the bench after he scores LOL

Why is everyone in hockey so down on individuality? A balance between flair and class is possible.

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#39 A-Mc
January 31 2013, 09:19AM
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@Woody

Not to mention he could likely write off that 20-30k as an HRR deduction

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#40 Miyagi's Chopsticks
January 31 2013, 09:19AM
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@GloryDays

lol...express a comment on an Oiler and trade the fan to the Flames. I guess all Oilers fans that chirped Horcoff, Whitney, Potter, etc. are Flames fans now.

Be realistic. There has been zero team in he history of the NHL that has won a cup with all the same type of players. The Kings, Bruins, Blackhawks, Oilers in the 80s all has a nice balance of high end skill with gritty tough checkers.

If you look at the Oilers today, it's clear that physicality has been an issue. You can't have all small high skilled forwards. If you look at the entire forward group, and had the ability to upgrade one position ony, the second line centre position is clearly the area you should look at.

I have no problems with Gagner's offensive abilities, but the Oilers need a few more players that can play both ends. As an example, Detroit doesn't have the largest centres in the league, but Datysuk is not only a great offensive player, but a trophy winner.

You're gonna be hard pressed to find any sells trophy candidates on the Oilers team.

If Gagner is part of the long term plans for the Oilers, it's not about points. He's has to be a200 ft player that we can put him out there and count on in any situation that occurs. He needs to add more dimensions to the game.

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#41 OilClog
January 31 2013, 09:22AM
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Doan's late hit was dirty, no need for it, causing injury to boot. Maybe not a suspension but a fine would be a welcome sight.

Morris, he should be suspended. His actions were ridiculous, embarrassing, the league should be looking into it.

I would say Sam is more our #1c at the moment, he's outplaying RNH. We need to add a real physical force to the forwards, I don't see why that person needs to be a center. Plenty of big banging wingers out there looking to make a name. We need to find our own Kassian.

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#42 dougtheslug
January 31 2013, 09:24AM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

Gregor I have to disagree with you. Doan's hit on Horcoff is everything the league is trying to stop from happening. He dropped his shoulder right into the numbers. To me that is a worse hit than anything Sutton did last season and he kept getting suspensions. Ask yourself this, if Hordi had done the dame thing to a PHX player would there have been a suspension? I dont care what type of player it is or who he plays for that kind of hit is just dirty and deserving of a suspension. Morris's actions also deserved some sort of action. Not sure if is should be a 1 game suspension or just a fine but seriously. He straight up attacked a player when the game was finished all bar fight style. This is a reason fighting in a game gets such a bad rap because of idiots like this.

Like I've said before, the NHL is the worst officiated league in the world. The penalty on Gagner near the end of the game was so totally predictable - you just knew the refs were leaning into the wind to call a penalty on the Oil to "manage" the game - such that they made a hopelessly incorrect call on Gagner and completely missed Doans suspendible attempt to injure on Horcoff (drilling a guy without the puck in the back, after the whistle is more than a "cheap shot").

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#44 michael
January 31 2013, 09:36AM
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Anyone here remember Ovie's first year in Washington? The guy celebrated every goal like it was an Olympic game winning goal moment. Yak was stoked to get that goal. He has Glenn Anderson like knack of being in the right place at the right time. He and Eberle have that "it" factor for scoring big goals. After the misery the PP went through for the game it was nice to get the win on the PP in OT. The Oilers need to be that team where the opposition lives in fear of the Oilers PP. Kinda like what were going to see tonight in San Jose.

If I am picking a guy to bring in tonight its VV in place of Horcoff. Bigger body than Lander and has a little more face off savy. Need that against Thornton and the boys.

Spezza gone for the season? Bham the price of a first line center just went through the roof.

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#45 Phixieus666
January 31 2013, 09:39AM
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@Jason Gregor

To me the Doan hit was still intent to injure. Hitting an unsuspecting player without the puck even if the whistle hadn't gone yet should still be a penalty. If it was along the boards it would have been called boarding. The location shouldn't matter the same action that can do the same amount of damage. It wouldn't have been as bad if Doan had tried to slow up a bit but he cleary goes full force, drops the shoulder and cranks him. A clear intent to injure.

In Whitney's defense Morris chirps him first as he is skating in to celebrate with his team mates. You can clearly see Whitney's face go from a smile to a frown as Morris chirps him. That's all on Morris.

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#46 Woody
January 31 2013, 09:41AM
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Is there something massive going down in the world of sports this morning or another mass shooting or natural disaster that would cause Twitter to have a complete meltdown?

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#47 The Goalie 1976
January 31 2013, 09:41AM
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@Miyagi's Chopsticks

You are bang on regarding Gagner. I'm a fan of his, but like you said to compensate for his size. He needs to bring other elements beside points.

The 2 clear options are faceoffs (this season he has shown a HUGE improvement, and should finish at 50%) and defensive responsibility. He is a really smart kid, and if Kreuger gets him better at being a 200ft player what more could you ask of him?

I also see his was working hard at his 1-timer slap shot, which has been a nice addition to the PP.

I see a player worth some more time to develope into a 200ft player, expecially since he finally seems to be getting how to win a faceoff.

P.S. finding a big winger to play with Sam is easier than finding a big center to replce him.

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#48 MarcusBillius
January 31 2013, 09:53AM
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Did anyone else see Bissonette trying to lay his shoulder into Schultz the Younger's head? He did it late on several occasions.

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#49 justDOit
January 31 2013, 10:03AM
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@Woody

I'm 'on board' with your suggestion to jet in help at C for tonight, but I'm not sure that Doc's Delorean with Messier from 1985 is going to help much against the Sharks at home.

Even if it costs $200k, if it means they get one point out of tonight's game and end up squeaking into the playoffs, two home games in the post season would easily pay for the jet.

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#50 Dan the Man
January 31 2013, 10:07AM
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Two things...

Shane Doan seems to make a pretty regular habit of cheap shots. Is he still not "that guy"?

Does anyone else think the Oilers would have found a way to lose the Vancouver, LA and Phoenix games last year?

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