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:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 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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#2 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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#3 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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#4 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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#5 madjam
October 02 2013, 09:52AM
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The good : Smyth and Hemsky played well , but Hall did not - making the line overall a minus -1 on nite . Second line showed little, was not visible most of nite . Despite the odd good shift , Joensuu and Gordon finished a-2 for the nite . Yak did little to impress .The 4th line impressed and did not cost us any goals . Defencesively only Smid and Petry finished with a plus one . Belov and N.Schultz minus 2 . J.Schultz and Ference @ -1 .If Dubbie played well we win , but he did not . Defence lacked toughness once again . If Nurse was in , I believe we win on this nite .

Surprisingly , our game seem to unfurl after the fight . Although we outshot the Jets badly in the third (a good sign compared to reason collapses), we resorted back to our periphery game with most shots in various low value areas .This club still seems to distain a physical game on offence whenever possible - the usual culprits .

The grind gets tougher on this road swing coming up , and we are going to need stellar goalkeeping in most to stay with them . Looking right now that Eakins is going to have a tough time getting our present club to play physical enough for 60 minutes .

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#6 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 02 2013, 05:25AM
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It's unfortunate they had to stick to tradition and waste the last 3 1/2 weeks. Now that all the alsorans are out of the way, give these guys another 3 or 4 weeks working together/get to know each other and they'll be much better. Hopefully these two points don't come back to haunt us. Could've been much worse had Taylor not eluded the two headhunting efforts that probably would've sidelined him for a few weeks.

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#7 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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#8 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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#9 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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#10 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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#11 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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#12 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 tileguy
October 02 2013, 09:27AM
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Accountability = Labarbera starts Saturday and Duby thinks.

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#16 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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#17 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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#18 rickithebear
October 02 2013, 11:45AM
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Blue31:

Ignoring the facts. to concentrate on a belief in a language structure that does not exist.

English is a Digion. Asian academic term. Speech created from a a colection of true base languages that modifies and adds based on current culture. With multiple dialects.

there are many of us who accept that the human brain is strong enough to correct dialects to undrstand the written and spoken form. thus it is a waist of time to concentrate on rules that hold no true form.

i am sorry you are bothered by this.

makes me wonder though: 1. is your brain not capable to auto current. or 2. are you just biggot when dealing with english dialects.

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#19 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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#20 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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#21 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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#22 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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#23 Hemsky2.0
October 02 2013, 08:41AM
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Here goes another season of low blocker Dubie!

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#24 Sidney Frosby
October 02 2013, 09:34AM
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Jonas Hiller or Brian Elloit or Jose Theodore anyone?

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#25 TKB2677
October 02 2013, 11:18AM
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@rickithebear

Who gives a crap about stats. The only stat that matters is WINS!!! He doesn't win. Some of it is on his team but his team scored 4 goals last night and he let in 5, 3 of which were lousy goals.

I love when people cling to dear life on save percentage. Yes there is something to it BUT an opposing team can shoot 30 shots on net, your goalies saving 28. That's a .9333 save %. But does it really matter how many the goalie saves if those 2 he lets in are stinkers?

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#26 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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#27 Rotten Ron
October 02 2013, 09:01AM
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TKB2677 wrote:

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?

From what I seen 4 were bad and 1 was iffy. Problem with Dubnyk is he doesnt seem to understand positioning. He has relied on his size to get him this far but seems to be working against himself. Example- on four goal last night he was in the same position to the shooter with his body in the same stance. Deep in his net, too far centered on the net for the angle of the attacker and holding his arms in tight with gloves together against his stomach.He made three saves like that I seen last night 2 letting the puck hit him between his glove hand arm and one on his blocker arm and body, other goaltenders his size play tbe same style with two exceptions they get their body square to the shooter in proper position and let in hit then in the chest not trying to smother it between their arms and their body, and two they can use their glove and blocker to stop pucks, the only thing hes used his for was those lame commercials.Its been common to see him do this his whole career in the league. The books out on him, the league knows youre shooting at a shooter tutor with the arms cut off. I count 4 bad instead of 3 based on the screened goal that I believe he seen all the way due to the fact he reacted to the shot in the same fashion he did for the other stinkers.

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#28 spliff
October 02 2013, 09:53AM
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Hall had an average game, and made some ill-advised passes. However, he is new to the center-position. I've watched Taylor Hall since day one in E-town, and I'll support him 24/7. He is a winner and worth every cent of his huge salary. Duby however, has a bad habit of letting in backbreaking goals at the worst time, and this is already starting again, in game one of perhaps the most important season in franchise history. I know his save % last year was very good (not excellent), but goalies on playoff bound teams need to be consistent, and not allow consistently allow cheap goals at the worst times. Oiler with Duby = no playoffs ...again FFS.

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#29 BleedingOil
October 02 2013, 12:08PM
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not reading to see if this has been covered, but Dubnyk has to go. I know it is only one game but COME ON! Three softies cost us the game. Hell, 2 cost us. Even our expected one would not have saved the day. If our guys are going out busting their asses off and cant win on a 4 or 5 goal nights, there need to be a change in goal. send him packing. Hell, I would even give Chris Mason a call.

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#30 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
October 01 2013, 11:26PM
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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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#31 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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#32 Cody anderson
October 02 2013, 10:00AM
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Jarko wrote:

Kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel if Jonesuu and Hemsky are your highlights! Despite all his energy Jonesuu still ended up -2 on the night. Bigger concern is how ordinary Hall and Eberle looked. Yes...it is just one game hand isn't anywhere near the panic button...but I just hope Hall and Ebs aren't waiting for Nuge to come back before they turn it on. Still don't get why the Oilers have not done anything to significantly address their D and Goaltending situation. Dubs has proven repeatedly that he is nothing more than a quality back up. The D still lacks a bonafide 1 or 2 D-Man. Which means all the D-Men are playing up a couple of notches. Yes...one game...but left the rink not seeing much different than I saw last year.

Because 1-2 Dmen are not cheap. The future looks very bright on the back end and this D-corps looks much improved over last year.

Dubnyk' numbers were average for a starter on one of the worst teams in the league. How does that translate into a back-up? If he were the starter on the Blues, Ottawa, Boston or any other strong defensive team he likely would have been top 5 or 6 in the league. I don't know if he will ever be a super star in net but he is very obviously at least a serviceable starter.

My only concern before the injuries to Nuge and Gagner were overall team toughness, and lack of proven depth in the bottom 6. Now obviously centre in a major weakness, but it is also a short term problem.

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#33 fig pucker
October 02 2013, 10:04AM
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the defense was chasing, the net was leaking, the top two lines where m.i.a, the whole team fell asleap at the wheel in the third. the more things change the more they stay the same. maybe dalles etkins should teach our guys how to cycle a puck down low, to eat the clock and how to protect a lead, just like the leafs did last night.

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#34 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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#35 spliff
October 02 2013, 10:23AM
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@rickithebear

Then why do a large percentage of the fanbase, and even MacT himself, seem to not be sold on him.

Maybe, its because he has a bad habit of letting in cheap goals at the wrong time. This is backbreaking for an a team like the Oilers, who will most likely be scrapping to the bitter end to finish eight in the conference.

Sometimes stats don't tell the whole story. Fuhr was not top of the league in goalie stats, but he was money when it counted. For 3 bills a year, we need something more dependable between the pipes.

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#36 war
October 02 2013, 10:32AM
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Clarko wrote:

Exactly...he was brutal in the game early in the season against San Jose, but this team was brutal defensively and yet he had one of the top save percentages in the league among starters. It's one game. It's ridiculous how much overreaction there is for ONE game!

post this after 40 games of dubey,pull some stats out of your butt,while you are at it get the stat for our chsnces of picking first overall!DUBEY has to go

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#37 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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#38 Cynic
October 02 2013, 01:27AM
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What were their relCorsi's on the night?

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#39 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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#40 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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#41 Jarko
October 02 2013, 07:38AM
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Kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel if Jonesuu and Hemsky are your highlights! Despite all his energy Jonesuu still ended up -2 on the night. Bigger concern is how ordinary Hall and Eberle looked. Yes...it is just one game hand isn't anywhere near the panic button...but I just hope Hall and Ebs aren't waiting for Nuge to come back before they turn it on. Still don't get why the Oilers have not done anything to significantly address their D and Goaltending situation. Dubs has proven repeatedly that he is nothing more than a quality back up. The D still lacks a bonafide 1 or 2 D-Man. Which means all the D-Men are playing up a couple of notches. Yes...one game...but left the rink not seeing much different than I saw last year.

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#42 Clyde Frog
October 02 2013, 07:51AM
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Sigh, there goes the chance at a perfect season :(

Also I'm willing to give them the first 9 to find their legs when missing their top 2 centers AND playing a new system.

But the RNH and Gagner better be quick studies...

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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 **
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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#48 Serious Gord
October 02 2013, 07:27AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

It's unfortunate they had to stick to tradition and waste the last 3 1/2 weeks. Now that all the alsorans are out of the way, give these guys another 3 or 4 weeks working together/get to know each other and they'll be much better. Hopefully these two points don't come back to haunt us. Could've been much worse had Taylor not eluded the two headhunting efforts that probably would've sidelined him for a few weeks.

Re: hall nearly getting hammered

That was my thought too. Playing center in such a lindros-like reckless fashion is going to end badly for him. Head hunters around the league if they watched the game last night will have seen plenty of chances to flatten him. Unless he changes - which seems doubtful - it's just a matter of time...

And what amount of begging, pleading, rioting etc. is it going to take to get MacT to order Smyth to retire - clearly RS hasn't got the guts or sense to do it on his own accord.

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#49 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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#50 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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