Oilers fall to Jets, but positives abound

Jonathan Willis
October 01 2013 11:21PM

The Edmonton Oilers lost their season opener. In the process, they blew a two-goal lead at the halfway point of the game as the Jets tallied three consecutive markers. Despite that, there was as much to like as dislike about their season opener.

Ales Hemsky

Not only did Ales Hemsky score a beautiful goal, but he spent a bunch of time on the penalty kill and had a pretty decent two-way game. Games like this one will go a long way toward putting that unpleasant summer of trade rumours in the past.

Jesse Joensuu

I keep waiting for Joensuu to slow down, but his red-hot preseason performance carried over at least to the first game of the regular season. The thing about Joensuu is he’s a welcome marriage of size and skill. On the latter point, he can skate and handle the puck at speed – two items that haven’t generally been found in the Oilers’ coke Machines. On the former point, not only is he big but he doesn’t back down. He jumped into scrums repeatedly over the course of the evening and went after guys that played his smaller linemates a little too roughly.

Luke Gazdic

The fourth line had a rough night scoring chances-wise, but even so it was hard not to be thrilled for Luke Gazdic. The 24-year-old took an especially hard route to the NHL – being a crash-and-bang type who fights is a tough way to make a living – so his first NHL goal in his first NHL game was great to see (the goal is technically listed as Mike Brown’s at the moment, but watching the replay it seems probable it will be awarded to Gazdic as the puck seems to have been deflected by a Jets’ stick).

Outshooting

There was also a lot to like about how aggressive the Oilers were - particularly in how they won the shots battle. The Oilers out-shot the Jets 24-22 at even-strength despite spending much of the game with the lead (once teams get the lead, they tend to be out-shot). The power play got 13 shots off in just over six minutes of total time, which is a fantastic rate. It won't matter until they get goaltending, but assuming that Devan Dubnyk eventually rebounds to Devan Dubnyk form, these sorts of shot numbers will win the Oilers a bunch of games.

The Other Stuff

  • Devan Dubnyk was flat-out bad. A number of those goals were on him tonight; if the Oilers had gotten even the goaltending Pavelec gave the Jets (and Pavelec is hardly the gold standard) they would have won this game. It's one game; this sort of thing happens. Dubnyk's resume suggests he's a better player than he showed tonight.
  • The first line got out-chanced, and Taylor Hall in particular had more than his share of turnovers. That will happen to offensive players trying to make plays, but it couldn't have been the opening night Hall was hoping for at centre.
  • As always, for both the good and the bad: it's one night. This was our first real look at the rebuilt Oilers; it's going to be fascinating to watch where they go from here.

Recently around the Nation Network

Brian Sutherby explains how to play StreakCred, a Nation-sponsored game with fantastic prizes and straight-forward mechanics that also helps local charities. Here's what the prizes look like right now:

New hockey memorabilia and prizing will be given to the champ each month. The main prize for October will be the coveted Streakcred trophy and the choice of a Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry or Jamie Benn autographed jersey along with a pre-paid gift card. Prizes will also be given to the top 20 streaker’s each month, to the person with the most wins and to a couple lucky random draw winners just for playing. Over the course of the season the cupboard of available jerseys and memorabilia will only continue to grow.

Click the link above to check it out, or feel free to check out some of my recent stuff below:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 hallsyoilerforever5
October 01 2013, 11:31PM
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I really don't understand what makes Smyth so important to slot him in the top 6. He's just awful.

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#2 Oiler63
October 01 2013, 11:36PM
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Joensuu is a beauty if he can continue this kind of game.

Nice to see Hemsky once again the player who can carry the game.

Eakins, where's the accountability you've been yapping about when Smyth played 17 minutes and Yak only 14?

Dubnyk will bounce back but he's not an elite goalie that oilers need.

Decent effort by whole 4th line.

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#3 oilman3
October 01 2013, 11:33PM
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i keep hoping dubnyk can get the job done, but making big saves has to be the norm for a starter without giving up weak goals on a regular basis. that 4th goal may have dipped but he's gotta have that. it was an absolute killer goal to give up. yeah this is just one game, but the schedule isn't going to do us any favors going forward. we needed this one.

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#4 TDSM31
October 01 2013, 11:50PM
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Here we go again. Dubnyk stinks the joint out and everyone lines up to cut him slack. F*ck that...its time for management to admit their mistake and move on from him.

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#5 Dan 1919
October 01 2013, 11:30PM
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Dubnyk let in key weak goals again, at terrible times(never a good time), completely demoralizing the team and sucking out all of their amassed energy.

He has to get a free pass for the first game of the season, but Dubnyk has done this for years now, we need another goalie before this season ends if Dubnyk can't right this ship by XMas (or sooner). What a surprise JESSE JOENSUU is, it seems to be just how he plays too. Hopefully he keeps it up!

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#6 Walter Sobchak
October 01 2013, 11:40PM
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More bad then good I'm a afraid, J.J looked good, like his game tonight, here's hoping he can keep that up.

Coaching staff had a aneurism playing Yakupov 14 min while giving Smyth 19 min.

I'll try and keep this in perspective though, this was the Jets.......... can't possible get worse playing against the likes of the elite balanced teams like the Blues, Kings, Sharks, Hawks and the Nucks.

The Oilers were lucky they had the Jets tonight..........no offence to the Jets fans.

That game could have been ugly had it been a top western conference team.

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#7 ShakyDS
October 01 2013, 11:59PM
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"The first line got out-chanced" is an understatement. I love Smytty, but it looked like 5x4 too often with him on the ice. Couple that with Hall gifting it to the Jets repeatedly....just plain awful. Everyone will get a first game pass, which is fine because it's early, but it's clear that Mr. Smyth does not have the legs to be a first liner or even top six.

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Dubnyk: Hot garbage. Maybe he'll get a shutout next game to bring his save percentage up...

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#9 TonyT
October 02 2013, 12:21AM
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Good: When Eakins put out the 4th line in the 2nd for an offensive zone draw after the Jets attempted to rough up the Perron. They promptly gave up a scoring chance but message was sent and easily the loudest cheer of the night.

Bad: Smyth and Dubnyk. Dubnyk upped his quota from 1 bad goal a game but will hopefully rebound. Smyth is just old and slow, that's on the coaching staff.

Ugly: The worst part of the last seven years is how the Rexall faithful has been conditioned for the worse. The unwillingness of the fans to get a cheer going, even with a power play late in the game was pretty sad.

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#10 TM8Trent
October 02 2013, 12:10AM
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I'd actually say the Oilers were outcoached. If you see Joensuu looking that good, get him on the ice more. He should have been on the first line....Smyth looked brutal = get him off the ice. The lines were garbage, fix them. If you need my help, here you go:

1. Joenssu, Hall, Yakupov; 2. Perron, Arco, Eberle; 3. Smyth, Gordon, Hemsky; 4. Gazdic, Acton, Smith

You're welcome.

After this one, I actually am concerned Smyth simply can't keep up to the NHL game. If an old guy doesn't start well, it's pretty unlikely he'll finish well. I can't even see him as an effective 3rd liner if he can't keep up.

This loss, though, was on Dubnyk. The Oilers deserved to win and lost because of bad goals. If the goaltending was even, the Oilers win that one.

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Joensuu looked good.

Hall the turnover machine.

Doobie looked stoned there

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#12 Dan 1919
October 01 2013, 11:46PM
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@Walter Sobchak

"That game could have been ugly had it been a top western conference team."

Agreed, that's all I was thinking about midway through the third. Here's to hoping RNH and Gagner have speedy recoveries... because we need them

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#13 Walter Sobchak
October 01 2013, 11:57PM
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Dan 1919 wrote:

"That game could have been ugly had it been a top western conference team."

Agreed, that's all I was thinking about midway through the third. Here's to hoping RNH and Gagner have speedy recoveries... because we need them

Problem is you have one NHL center, the rest are window dressing.

Hall looked like a LW filling in for a center tonight, brutal game.

The Oilers can't get afford loses in an Olympic year, it will be far to difficult to make up points when RNH and Gagner come back.

I don't put this on the boys, I put it on management for not finding adequate players.

The way the top western conference teams are balanced they would have crushed this AHL team tonight.

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#14 BeeKayDub
October 02 2013, 09:07AM
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rob wrote:

get rid of dubnyk,he cost us that game lat night,3 softies and its been this way forever.sure hall gave a turnover or 2 and there were some other negatives but dubey blew it huge!!!!play off lottery and new coach here we come,i feel like im trapped in groundhog day!

Settle down...it's game one. Sheesh!

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#15 Don wrinkles
October 02 2013, 12:50AM
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SWARM SWARM SWARM

And now 5 goals against... Bright coaching to keep Yakupov on the bench ( he had his physical game on tonight and was good with his puck possession)... I guess Ryan Smyth missing passes and overstaking the puck is Eakins saying "play better, play more"

Oh and bob stuaffer is fat and fugly

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#16 Hemmercules
October 02 2013, 07:38AM
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I hate this notion of players getting a "free pass" on a bad game because it's the first one. Free passes just reinforce that its ok to lose and that story is getting old.

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#17 Ray
October 02 2013, 05:54AM
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Same old......jf Jacques was supposed to play on first line too....now smytty.....if I was yak, I'd be pissed!!!!

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#18 jr_christ
October 02 2013, 08:43AM
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That was an awesome game. I am super impressed with the pressure system that Eakins has the team playing. My quick thoughts while I sip the morning brew at work somewhat disappointed over out first game outcome:

(1) Joensuu is a machine. I am not sure I have seen many players who attack the d-men in the offensive zone as much as he did. Just an overall pleasant surprise.

(2) First line looked god aweful. It was apparent that Hall was not comfortable at center. We can't blame him for the game tying goal give away because Trouba shot that low glove from the point. That was on Dubnby. However, I think it will take a couple games for that line to catch fire.

(3) Gazdic was pretty fun to watch. He is a really great 4th line option to add some rough sand paper.

(4) Dubby was awful. If we had Pavalec in net it would have easily been a 4-1 or 4-2 game for us.

Excited to watch Van on Saturday.

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#19 Dan 1919
October 01 2013, 11:33PM
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hallsyoilerforever5 wrote:

I really don't understand what makes Smyth so important to slot him in the top 6. He's just awful.

Haha, he had a weak game too. First game of the season pass will have to be used for him tonight too.

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#20 jeanshorts
October 01 2013, 11:55PM
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THIS TEAM IS THE WORST EVER OF ALL THE TEAMS!!!

*Saturday night after the Oilers trounce the Canucks*: WHICH AVE SHOULD BE BURN DOWN FIRST IN PREPARATION OF THE CUP PARADE WHYTE OR JASPER???

Hockey is back gang!!

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#21 bdiddy18
October 02 2013, 08:55AM
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So Joensuu switch with Ryan Smyth right?

no brainer...lets do it

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#22 Andy
October 02 2013, 12:53AM
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I sure didn't see much of an effort from Ebs tonight. Come to think of it may be a continuation of a rather shabby work ethic at the end of last sesson. He is the one player of the younger group I could part with for the right asset either on D ir at centre. I doubt there would much support for that but I'm thinking he should be given the nickname Casper given his penchant for disappearing in physical games.

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#23 Noelpm
October 01 2013, 11:52PM
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Positives are: PK looked great, getting lots of chance in the first kill. Jesse Jonesuu. The 4th line had an outstanding game and if Gazdic has some more games like this, I can see him staying a roster player all season. Gordon in the dot. Negatives are: Yakupov looked sluggish and lost. Dubynk had a poor game. Turnovers led to at least two of the goals from what I saw.

Overall I'm disappointed with the loss; however, the new personal looked good out there.

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#24 durb
October 02 2013, 01:14AM
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Smyth is done. Sad to watch him anywhere but around the other teams net. He's one of the slowest, weakest players in the league to my eyes. Jonesi is beast is a mans body. Loved his game. Liked Perron. Thought the 4th line was good. If they bump Acton (or anyone for that matter) for Smyth once the team is healthy, for the love of god I will loose all faith in this management/coaches.

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#25 2004Z06
October 02 2013, 09:28AM
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I was so surprised to wake up this morning and see that the sky had not fallen. First game, lots of positives, some mistakes as well.

A lot of players had poor showings and some had great showings. Relax folks. Lets see what things look like after 10 games.

Every team last night looked awful at times.

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#26 DonDon
October 02 2013, 12:30AM
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As per the Other Stuff:

"The first line got out-chanced, and Taylor Hall in particular had more than his share of turnovers. That will happen to offensive players trying to make plays, but it couldn't have been the opening night Hall was hoping for at centre."

Now that the Oilers are playing for points, the first line is a real mess. Hall playing out of position, Smyth a "non factor". Let's face it, Hall is playing out of his position of strength and Smyth had a bad opening night.

I don't place the blame for the loss on Dubnyk. There was enough blame to go around by the total team.

The deficiency at centre was evident. Some positives: Joensuu and newly arrived Luke Gazdic.

It is only the beginning of the season, but the Jets are considered to be out of the playoffs. Obviously, they have some real talent.

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#27 ghostofberanek
October 02 2013, 08:06AM
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I'm ok with that game. Dubnyk struggled, but he'll be fine. Our new additions looked really good, and they scored 3 out of 4 goals in 30 mins of play. Our power play looks sharp, with room for improvement still. Seems to me that winning the first game of the season hasn't meant much in the past, so why would losing the first game mean much?

I refuse to be like the dumbass fans who prattle on about the sky falling. Even the best teams lose, and the best goalies allow goals. Get over it.

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#28 spliff
October 02 2013, 05:38AM
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I'm reading stuff on this blog like "first game of the season pass" and "he's always been the type of player that needs a bunch of games to get into sync." This is unacceptable for a team like the Oilers, who have missed the playoffs seven years in a row, despite having oodles of talent, and spending to the cap. They needed this win, big time, because of their early schedule and their injury predicament. For the past several years I've grudgingly accepted the "rebuilding"mantra espoused by KLoser and the gang. This year, no more. They have no more excuses. They owe the loyal fans of this franchise, who cough up hard earned cash for league high ticket prices, and have to put up with all the associated BS that comes with a team run by uneducated ex-hockey players, who rely on their glory days as a resume crutch. This loss, for some reason, was much more disappointing then games last year, because it made it obvious that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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#29 Bjm
October 02 2013, 07:12AM
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Be afraid. Very afraid.

What's Hall really thinking when he looks to his left and sees the loveable but washed up Smyth. What's Yak really thinking when his minutes add less than Smyth's? Did Smyth get more ice time because it takes him so long to get to the bench for a change?

Can't wait yo see what happens when SJ, LA and the like roll into town.

And what was Dubnyk thinking about all night, besides hockey?

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#30 **
October 02 2013, 02:18AM
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The game was entertaining and the Oilers dominated for the most part. But then the Jets made them pay for their mistakes. To my eyes this game was on Hall and Dubnyk. To very soft goals Dubnyk let in and two horrible turnovers by Hall that turned into goals. The good thing is that we know these guys are far better than that. AS for the center situation, all 4 guys were 50% or better on the faceoffs, Acton and Arcobello were very active and efficient, plus they got on the scoresheet. It's only one game, but if Taylor Hall was the worst center on the team, things are looking pretty good. The fourth line may have had a rough night in scoring chances, but they scored a goal and were engaged physically, which I think is the job of this line. The third line was doing very good things as well but were more victims of circumstance, and they also scored. Yakupov seems a bit off. The team may have found the answer to their size issues with Gazdic and Joenssu, both can skate, both scored, and both were aggressive and standing up for their teammates. The fourth line should have played more. The ice time handling for Hall is going to be tricky because he is being asked to play a position he is not totally comfortable with, so how much leeway should the coach give him?. I can see some line shuffling in order since the second and third lines failed to produce.

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#31 mlcsellil
October 02 2013, 12:19AM
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Lots of anticipation and excitement coming into the game tonight. Lots of us disappointed at the result. There were many good things left on the ice and some not so much. As desperately as we need sold centres to help this team out, we also needed Tim Thomas when he was available. Here's to hoping DD can handle the starting job. Looking forward to a great 2013-2014 season.

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#32 They're $hittie
October 02 2013, 06:43AM
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Hall back to LW please when one of the two are back.

Ryan Smythe is terrible (I spelled his name with an e Because this is not the old ryan smyth)

Was a believer in Dubnyk, not anymore

Gazdic should have be the crap out of Trouba when he head hunted Hall. We got these guys to be proactive not reactive.

Not ehough ice time for Yak.

Please appreciate what Nuge and Gagner do for this team. We may have been better in shooting differential this game, but it seems like the puck is not on our sticks as much with these two not in the line up.

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#33 spliff
October 02 2013, 09:29AM
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Settle down its one game? I've been supporting this team since the 70's, and I'm sick of investing money and time into a team that can't at least be one of 16 teams, in a 30 team league, to make the playoffs. Its been 7 f*cking years! We need good players, who can win games. We could have, and should have won that game. We should have one win, zero losses and two points. The NHL is a very competitive league, and every point counts, especially for perennial underachievers like the Oilers. So its not "just one game." Dubie sucked badly. For 3 million a year, which takes me almost 40 years to make, he needs to make those routine saves. Brutal goaltending, and something the Oil management should have sorted out years ago. Incompetence.

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#34 durb
October 02 2013, 01:16AM
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Joensuu was a beast, sorry. Jonesi? what the hell was I thinking

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#35 Cody anderson
October 02 2013, 06:59AM
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Smyth better spped up or he will not make it the year. I agree with those of you asking them to try some new lines.

Perron - Hall - Yakupov

Joensuu - Acrobello - Eberle

Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky

Gazdig - Acton - Brown

This puts Hall with elite scorers and makes that a real 3rd line. Perron is used to having some defensive reposibiblity.

Joensuu looks like he can keep up with the top 6 and he is willing to muck it up, protect his teammates and goto the net.

This looks like a 3rd line that can shut down other teams and still be a threat to score. Icetime should be more manageable for father time.

This 4th line looks capable of sending messages, being physical, and annoying the other team. I would like to see at least one upgrade on the line, but the Acton experiment looks good thus far.

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#36 rob
October 02 2013, 08:28AM
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get rid of dubnyk,he cost us that game lat night,3 softies and its been this way forever.sure hall gave a turnover or 2 and there were some other negatives but dubey blew it huge!!!!play off lottery and new coach here we come,i feel like im trapped in groundhog day!

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#37 Sidney Frosby
October 02 2013, 09:30AM
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Wow... Oilers played their goal leader (Yakupov) from last year 14 minutes..... Can't believe they think that is gonna help them win games....

Everyone who says Yakupov didn't play well last night is crazy. He was good in the first and second periods. Much better than Ryan Smyth... And less invisible than Perron for sure.

On the other note.. Hemsky and JJ looked good.

Can't believe our only other option to Dubnyk is Labarbararara.....

Craig Mac-t sure didn't think that one through.

This team has the makings of a good team if they could just get more sandpaper up front, a stable goalie, and big man on back end.

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#38 blue31
October 02 2013, 11:12AM
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I find that Dubnyk and Hemsky are the two players whose body language clearly exposes their headspace on any given night.

I could tell from the first shift that Dubnyk just "wasn't into it" last night.*

*Apologies to Jason Arnott.

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#39 hemi
October 02 2013, 07:07AM
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Game one turned out to be a disappointment. If myself and fellow Oil fans were sipping too much Kool-Aid this preseason, then last night's game served up a different type of drink altogether.

Watching the post game interview of Eakins revealed that the team is far from being where he wants it to be. I liked how he did not throw the players fully under the bus and the fact that he openly admitted that he too made errors in judgement. Even when he was asked to comment on #94, he choose his words with respect to an ICON to both the organization and to the fan base. It does indeed looks like a step or two has been lost for the beloved #94. (Would it be a reasonable presumption that Ryan knows this as well?)

Game one is over and done with. Nothing to do but learn from it and move forward. It's 2 pts that we missed out on. As a team that needs to be in the playoffs this year, every point is important.

Game one may serve as an early wake up call for both player and management or at least one can hope so. Go OIL Go!

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#40 Batfink
October 02 2013, 08:28AM
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It's not until you get the team buying in to a coaches system that you realise just how many bad habits these young players have. Let me re-iterate: These are not bad players, they just have bad habits that should have been ironed out in the AHL, but weren't due to circumstances beyond their control. I mean, take Hall. Elite talent. Who the hell taught him its a good idea to give blind or soft passes up the middle? My 7yr old niece and nephew are told not to do that! Know not to do that! I hope these guys dust themselves off. They DID dominate most of the game, except where it really counts: The goal tally. Suck it up buttercups, come back harder and smarter in the next game.

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#41 Spydyr
October 02 2013, 08:37AM
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Dubnyk is what he is and has been his whole career. A "starting" goalie on a non-playoff team.Mac-T saw that and tried hard to fix the problem.

JJ looked great Ference was as expected.Smyth has to go to the third line put JJ on the first he has earned it.Eakins said play well play more.Here is your chance to back your words up.There are 4 days before the next game to give them time together.

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#42 Tikkanese
October 02 2013, 09:27AM
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Wow the Smyth haters are out in full force. He didn't have that bad of a game, geez. He was much better than Hall last night and I don't hear anyone saying bump Hall down to the 4th line. We actually dominated most of the game except for Dubnyk. If Dubnyk had even an average game we would have won easily.

Smyth did make a couple of mistakes but he made veteran plays and made up for them almost instantly. For example, when Buff bumped him off the puck in the third, then Smyth got up and bumped Buff back in the corner and caused Buff to turn the puck over. He was also great in front of the net and did fine on the PK.

Don't worry he won't be on the first line for long. He's only there to provide Hall some calming veteran presence while Hall learns center. Plus Eakins is forced to spread out our remaining 1.5 healthy top lines over 3 lines. If he moved say Yakupov up instead of Smyth, that would make the 3rd line absolutely horrible. We'd never win that way. The way the lines are set now, we have a chance.

With the major holes in the lineup due to Hopkins and Gagner injuries, all we can do is hope we are somewhere remotely close to .500 until they come back. I'm not sure what you all are expecting with our top two centers out.

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#43 rickithebear
October 02 2013, 10:15AM
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Since Dubnyk took over from KHB Jan 15 2012 he has played 65.5 games of minutes. Dubnyk is 29 W - 27 L - 9 OTL He faced 30.7 shots/gm He was .920 SV% 2.47GA which is in the top 15.

of the 65 games 57 were 3 goals or less. He gives us a chance to win 88% of our games.

The last 3 years there is one goalie with a .920 even save % every year. He plays for us.

How can this be?

shots against per game #1 NJD 23.1 #29 EDM 32.8

it is apparent some people cannot think past one game (sign of attention deficit disorder)

i will look at the full body of work and hope our Defence can get down to the 28.9 shots/gm

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#44 spliff
October 02 2013, 02:15AM
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I have a bad feeling that for some reason the Flames are going to own us again this year.

We should have won this game. These are the missed points that will keep us out of the playoffs again. Is is too much to ask from the most loyal and abused fan base in the league, to have a decent team that can be part of some playoff hockey? After watching tonights game, I'd bet my mortgage that the Oilers will not make the playoffs again. Eight years no playoffs. Unf*ckingbelievable!

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#45 Jakethesnake
October 02 2013, 06:56AM
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As long as this goalie is here this doesn't turn the corner. His numbers look great but he's not The media keeps telling us how great he is but he still sucks New Goalie Please Yea it's game one but I've said it for over 2 years He's not good enough

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#46 j
October 02 2013, 08:09AM
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Hemmercules wrote:

I hate this notion of players getting a "free pass" on a bad game because it's the first one. Free passes just reinforce that its ok to lose and that story is getting old.

I don't believe anyone is getting a free pass. The coaches, players, reporters and fans have all owned up and said they need to be better. The reality however is we have many new players, players playing out of position, some critical players on IR, and a new coach/system. All of these factors would lend to a bit of latitude when evaluating the first few games IMO. I suspect we'll see some adjustments in real time i.e. Smytty/Yak minutes, line shuffling. And, if you look over at Lowetide, the Oilers actually outplayed the Jets by a fairly large margin. There were a few costly turnovers and bad goals that cost us the game. It wasn't a poor showing in many respects.

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#47 TKB2677
October 02 2013, 08:23AM
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WOW Dubnyk. Way to prove all your critics right. In my opinion, 3 out of 5 goals were complete stinkers.

The Little goal was an unscreened, 30 ft wrist shot to the blocker side. I thought the defence did well on it to only give up that shot and Dubnyk lets it in.

The first Frolik goal was a spinning, unscreened, 25ft, short side wrist shot. If I'm the Oilers defence, I give up that shot all day long as it should never go in.

The Trouba goal was a 1 vs 2, unscreened, not overly hard, 45ft slapper. Those are the type of goals that you see a preseason, prospect goalie give up in his 1 and old NHL game before he is sent back to junior.

For all the Dubnyk lovers that rattle off his save percentage and cling to the "every goalie lets in a bad on from time to time" argument. Explain to me how the hell a starting NHL goal lets in 3 in the first game.

He was fighting the puck all night. Couldn't catch the puck, spitting out horrible rebounds. Dubnyk was HORRIBLE last night.

What really backs up the argument is when the head coach in his presser comes out and says at least 2 goals were bad. You know you played bad when your coach doesn't pull out cliché after cliché like usual but instead says you sucked.

I guess the saving grace is Dubnyk "owned it" but who gives a crap. Stop the puck!! I know it's game 1 but if you can't come out in your home opener and play better than that, there is definite calls for concern.

Anyone know how old Ryan Smyth is? His bio says he's 37 but I could of sworn he was 50 out there. Can we please call the experiment with Smyth playing on the wing with Hall over and done with?

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#48 Rob...
October 02 2013, 10:06AM
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@madjam

Your last post shows just how flawed plus/minus is.

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#49 **
October 02 2013, 02:31AM
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TM8Trent wrote:

I'd actually say the Oilers were outcoached. If you see Joensuu looking that good, get him on the ice more. He should have been on the first line....Smyth looked brutal = get him off the ice. The lines were garbage, fix them. If you need my help, here you go:

1. Joenssu, Hall, Yakupov; 2. Perron, Arco, Eberle; 3. Smyth, Gordon, Hemsky; 4. Gazdic, Acton, Smith

You're welcome.

After this one, I actually am concerned Smyth simply can't keep up to the NHL game. If an old guy doesn't start well, it's pretty unlikely he'll finish well. I can't even see him as an effective 3rd liner if he can't keep up.

This loss, though, was on Dubnyk. The Oilers deserved to win and lost because of bad goals. If the goaltending was even, the Oilers win that one.

I think you meant Brown on the 4th line, not Smith. I agree some shuffling needs to get done. THe second line didn't produce at all even though Arcobello was creating quite a few chances. I think Perron and Eberle were a little intimidated by the physical play. Dallas admitted in the post conference that one of his mistakes was not to give Joenssu more ice time and another not to give the fourth line more ice time. Ryan Smyth wasn't bad but he wasn't effective either. I would move Perron to the First line because he is a better defensive player and move Joenssu tot he second with Arcobello and Eberle so he can creat some space for those too because they are small. Smyth on the third line with Gordon and Yakupov or Even Gazdik there to see what could happen. I didn't like Petry's play tonight, a little slow and unaware at times. Smid played his solid shutdown role. Ference Belov and Justin Schultz had a few adventures but overall were good and Nick Schultz looks way better on the third pairing than on the first last year.

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#50 NJ
October 02 2013, 07:34AM
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I am not willing to go through a season full of losing like this. I'm sick of watching losses and coughed up leads. But, as far as I'm concerned, coach, players, goalie, all get a pass for about 3 or 4 games. Eakins is smart. I trust that. He's made excellent moves so far in interior decorating and attitude. I like the captain pick having seen more of what Ference does and is.

What does that mean? It means that it's not yet time to throw Duby, or Eakins, under the bus. Or Smyth. It's ONE GAME. When he shuts Vancouver out on Saturday or Smitty scores the game winner, what will you say then? Relax. Give the coach a chance. I for one would love to see Ebs and Hall reunited as well as Yak in the top 6. Eakins is the coach, he has more experience than I do (clearly) and while Smitty's offensive game was terrible, he covered for Hall more than once last night.

Unfortunately, my opinion is that Smitty isn't an Oilers roster player. Any player that refuses to upgrade a wooden stick for new technology has issues, and the 4th line looks excellent without him. I hope Eakins sees it soon and we can get some scoring out of all our lines!

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