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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#51 rickithebear
October 02 2013, 10:58AM
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You might want to look at the % of 3 G or better games from goalies. the last couple of years. the elite are in the 90 to 85% range with most facing 29 shots/gm or less lundquist @ 90% faces 27.7 Dubnyk in the top 5 faces 32.3

our goalie is in the top 5 for chance to win games facing 15% more shots.

I am tired of the lazy trite bile that comes out of the dubnyk hater mouths.

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#52 rickithebear
October 02 2013, 11:18AM
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War i just presented stats over 3years. his game count is higher than 40.

I have 3 year old! who good at math! Beauty!

1 tops even strength Goalie 2. top 5 3 goals or less goalie 3. One of 8 goalies not to have a season below average for stopping shots.

Spiff: Mact went after Schnieder. He had the best 3 year period save% of the 8 above average goalies.

So i can understand trying to get #1 to replace #6. but Dubnyk is better @ even and gives you more games chances to win.

So if Mact tries to trade for Crosby #1 PPG instead of D. sedin #6 PPg the last 3 years. Does that make D. Sedin A bad player? Hell no.

But if they go around questioning Sedin, there is a need to explain!

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#53 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
October 02 2013, 05:42AM
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Joensuu looked good.

Hall the turnover machine.

Doobie looked stoned there

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#54 rubbertrout
October 02 2013, 08:28AM
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DANGLES!

I also love how Dubie let in a softie while Dellow was in the middle of a multi-tweet pumping of his tires last night.

Timing is everything.

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#55 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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#56 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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#57 blue31
October 02 2013, 11:24AM
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rickithebear wrote:

War i just presented stats over 3years. his game count is higher than 40.

I have 3 year old! who good at math! Beauty!

1 tops even strength Goalie 2. top 5 3 goals or less goalie 3. One of 8 goalies not to have a season below average for stopping shots.

Spiff: Mact went after Schnieder. He had the best 3 year period save% of the 8 above average goalies.

So i can understand trying to get #1 to replace #6. but Dubnyk is better @ even and gives you more games chances to win.

So if Mact tries to trade for Crosby #1 PPG instead of D. sedin #6 PPg the last 3 years. Does that make D. Sedin A bad player? Hell no.

But if they go around questioning Sedin, there is a need to explain!

english as second language

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#58 rickithebear
October 02 2013, 11:38AM
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Rotten Rod;

Dubnyk faced the 2nd most shots/gm of any goalie in the league the last 3 years. He had the 2nd best 3 goals or less game % of the top goalies.

in what world is the defence that; 1. avearged 30th the last 4 years. 2. giving up the 2nd most shots per game give up the 2nd easiest shots faced count to justify Dubnyk being one of the best 3g or less goalies in the game.

Yep CHi, NYR, BOS, VCR defence gave up way more quality chances than our d to be able to say there goalies were equal or better than Dubnyk for Bad GA games.

2nd best non bad GA games, But he is the problem cause our 30th finish team defence defene gives up less quality chances than 3 f the last 4 cup winers, a cup finalist, and conferecne finalist.

What planet?

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#59 Oilers4ever
October 02 2013, 02:39PM
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Its just one night? REALLY? Do you believe that as much as the Oilers oh so faithful mgmt keeps trying to slam down our throats its just one more year of rebuilding 7 years later. PLEASE! Dubynk was his ole normal self of at least ONE bad goal every game. Except tonight there were four (he had no hope on Frolik's shot through the screen with three guys in front of him - I'll give him that one). If this team continues to think they'll be a playoff team with the Dubeless one then come wake me up in 5 years when its 12 years out. He's NOT good enough. Plain and simple. You may be right that Pavlec is no better.. BUT... he MADE the big saves after the Oil had 4 to make sure they didn't get 5. Dubey didn't do that. He gave the goals that should have been stopped.

As for Hallsy, I dunno. Hate to be hard on him cuz it was his first real game at center but he's damn well smart enough to know that you don't make those bonehead plays that he did that resulted DIRECTLY in two goals against. Sorry, but your 6 mill a year guy needs to play smarter and better. It's not like he's never played center before. He played there in Windsor for a year. He knows the position.

And get Smyth off the darn top line and put Yaks there. Smitty is too slow to keep up and Yaks is NOT NOT NOT a third line winger. You'll have that kid wanting out of here after his ELC is done if stays on a third line. Not the way you treat a first overall pick with 40-50 goal potential. Hopefully they fix that brain fart.

Good luck in VanCity... they are going to need it.

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#60 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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#61 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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#62 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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#63 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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#64 Crondor
October 02 2013, 07:25AM
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All I can think of is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQgt-2T-C5o

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#65 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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#66 Fresh Mess
October 02 2013, 07:57AM
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Weird Al Yakupov did not play very well last night. I don't know why the posters here are hysterical about his playing time.

You can never preach accountability in an organisation that continues to employ The Lord of the Rings as head of hockey operations.

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#67 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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#68 Rob...
October 02 2013, 09:00AM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I really liked the new PK way more aggressive, and will produce a few shorties this year. New coach,eight new players, new system and one NHL center, they will get better Dubby has been brutal the last two games and he has to turns it around. I wish we had Trouba and Scheifiele, these guys look like future stars.

Trouba needs to watch himself. Had he connected on the Hall hit attempt he'd have gotten 3-5 games and Hall would have been out for at least 5 games with a concussion. I like his moxy, but he has to fine tune his line of attack.

Likewise, Smid will be lucky if he just gets a fine. I'm not convinced his brain wasn't working when he crosschecked Scheifele to the head (more like he was trying to pin him to the boards). The only thing that may save him is that there obviously wasn't a lot of force to the hit or Scheifele would have needed a stretcher instead of staying on the ice for the next play.

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#69 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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#70 Bushed
October 02 2013, 10:07AM
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Good game summary, Willis.

Maybe send a copy of this over to McCurdy, who apparently didn't see the same game (see today's Journal)...

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#71 Clarko
October 02 2013, 10:24AM
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rickithebear wrote:

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

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!

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#72 Mikey
October 02 2013, 11:07AM
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Rob... wrote:

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

To further your point. If Dubnyk doesn't let the 4 softies in, everyone looks good last night in the +/- which they should because the oilers dominated that game.

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#73 Will
October 02 2013, 11:10AM
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It's too bad Dubnyk let the team down last night.

As for the rest, my favourite line had to be Gordon, Joensu, Yak. That line was dangerous all night.

I was incredibly impressed with the way our defence played as well. It's been a long time since I watched the Oilers quickly recover the puck and turn it the other way with a crisp solid pass.

All the Jet's goals save one, were not results of them setting up and blasting away in our zone, they were bad angles off the rush and turnovers near the blue.

I was also impressed with the physicality, especially from the fourth line. Brown and Gazdic were crushing guys out there last night. In my opinion Mac will be there only to back those guys up against a super heavy weight, not to play hockey because that line did just fine.

Having said all of that, I am looking forward to getting Gags and Nuge back as Hall struggled a bit, but Smyth might have been the worst payer out there last night. He just can't keep up.

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#74 Puritania
October 02 2013, 12:51PM
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I should have taken Dubnyk as my goat. What the hell was I thinking?

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#75 Eastern Oil
October 02 2013, 01:47PM
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@ Rickithebear

You and your "fancy" stats like save percentage and shots on net! What about Dubnyk's body language, grit factor, and the "I saw him good" component? Those are stats I can really base my one regular season game opinion on!

Next you will be saying that goals and assists are the best way to judge a player by!

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#76 war
October 02 2013, 02:38PM
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BleedingOil wrote:

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.

I would even take Cocklin,markkenen,salo,garon or the kitchen sink for that matter.I understand Dubnyk has had a lot of shots,had a bad defence but we needed to win that one and he cost us,we can throw out all the stats we want,but someone give me a stat for how many bad goals he lets in by the end of the season,right now the count is 3!

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#77 Oilers4ever
October 02 2013, 02:52PM
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rickithebear wrote:

You might want to look at the % of 3 G or better games from goalies. the last couple of years. the elite are in the 90 to 85% range with most facing 29 shots/gm or less lundquist @ 90% faces 27.7 Dubnyk in the top 5 faces 32.3

our goalie is in the top 5 for chance to win games facing 15% more shots.

I am tired of the lazy trite bile that comes out of the dubnyk hater mouths.

Seriously.. I think we are tired of you pouring MEANINGLESS stats down our throats when you forget THE most important stat every time! He loses more than he wins EVERY YEAR. Ya, some to blame on shoddy defense over the years. But the D was good last night. He just continues to let in soft crap game in and game out. Hell, one of our goalies from the rec hockey league I am in good stop more than him. We DON'T have time this year to give him 10 games to get his crap together. Not with the schedule we have. If he can't pull up his big girl panties and get his crap together then ship him out of town. His ability to consistently make big saves game in and game out is about as good as the Esks O-Line is at protecting their QB. NON-EXISTENT!!!

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#78 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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#79 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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#80 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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#81 **
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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#82 vetinari
October 02 2013, 04:36AM
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Only one game but a few things need work.

I get that Eakins wants Hall to have experience on the wings but Smyth needs to either keep up or find a new home on the third line.

Dubnyk needs to be better. Especially on the softies. There were times that he was scrambling or looked like he couldn't find the puck. That being said, he's always been the type of player that needs a bunch of games to get into sync. Broduer he isn't.

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#83 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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#84 Darrell
October 02 2013, 07:24AM
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Lets flash back to last year as we stunk it up in game 1 and then YakCity was born against LA. Swap out Smyth and Yak, post a picture go Sammy's mug in the dressing room and replay game 48 for the boys .....

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#85 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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#86 Bryan in SK
October 02 2013, 07:37AM
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I was disappointed with Hall last night. Willing to cut him some slack due to being new at centre, but passes have to be to players on OUR team, and please, stop with the cutesy toe drags. It seldom works in the NHL makes me gag when that ends up in the back of our net.

Pavelec was beatable. Put the @$!#^ puck on the net and see what happens.

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#87 UnderOil
October 02 2013, 07:57AM
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Cody anderson wrote:

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.

Cody, I'm not sure I'd pull out the blender yet - but your line combos made me smile (just a bit - still mourning the loss) as there are many ways to put this team together that look good.

I would like to see more of Perron before he gets a pass to the first line and I think if anyone other than Joensuu surprised me last night it was Hemmer. He does not deserve a demote to 3rd.

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#88 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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#89 The Oilers Shot Clock
October 02 2013, 08:15AM
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I'm scared Smyth is going to be the elephant in the room this year. If that was him with a full tank, then it's over. It's too bad because Yak and JJ on the third looked like they could really feast on weak comp.

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#90 Lochenzo
October 02 2013, 08:21AM
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A good lesson in being who you are. Smytty was never a possession type player even in his prime. His best work is along the boards and a little chip and chase. He needs to stick with that.

Taylor Hall is not a dominant centre. He won't be able to make things happen like he does at wing, at least not at this time until he learns the position. He's got to keep it simple while he's there.

Doing too much led to turnovers and cost the team. You can't be mad when the problems are a result of trying too hard. Just need to fix it.

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#91 Rod from Viking
October 02 2013, 08:50AM
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I really liked the new PK way more aggressive, and will produce a few shorties this year. New coach,eight new players, new system and one NHL center, they will get better Dubby has been brutal the last two games and he has to turns it around. I wish we had Trouba and Scheifiele, these guys look like future stars.

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#92 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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#93 TKB2677
October 02 2013, 11:15AM
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@Rotten Ron

Exactly. He's almost good for at least a bad goal a night. Last night it was 2 for sure that Eakin's actually acknowledged was the case. I think 3 (Little's, Frolik's first, Trouba) but I have no argument against saying 4 weren't great.

His rebound control was horrible and he couldn't catch the puck to save his life.

What is starting to bother me and you touched on it is on when Dubnyk comes out and owns up to stinking it up, his reasons are exactly the same every time. Too deep in his net, losing his net, back angle on the shot.

Dubnyk is 27 yrs old. This is his 5th season with in the NHL and 8th professionally. When the hell is he going to figure out the whole "too deep, losing net, bad angles" thing. You know, the BASICS that every NHL goalie needs to have.

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#94 Rob...
October 02 2013, 11:18AM
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@Mikey

My point is more that +/- rarely reflects the effectiveness of the player on the ice. A player could have 20 flubs during the game and be a plus player. Likewise, he could score a hat-trick during powerplays yet still be a minus on the night.

Hall didn't dominate, he had several bad giveways that led to scoring chances. Regardless whether or not they led to goals, they should be accounted for in a good stat that is meant to reflect how well a player played. +/- is NOT a good stat.

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#95 vetinari
October 02 2013, 11:47AM
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BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD

...er... ahem... sorry about that... just getting into the spirit of everything...

While I definitely wasn't pleased with Dubnyk's performance last night, I'm sure that he, the coaching staff and most of his teammates weren't pleased with their performances either.

I'm the last guy to compare Dubnyk to Patrick Roy, but remember when Roy got shelled and the coach refused to pull him sooner and he ended up traded to the Avalanche a few days later because he was embarrassed in front of the fans and never wanted to suit up in a Canadians jersey again? Whether deserved or not, how far are we from a night like that happening at RX1?

MacT also did the right thing and tried to upgrade the position in the offseason but now that the season is underway, you have to say that it has only been one game and recognize that it is presently a seller's market out there so most goalies, if they can be had, would cost an arm and an Eberle.

Dubnyk's in our crease until 2014 so make peace with that...

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#96 lolhockey
October 02 2013, 12:24PM
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I don't mind Smyth playing on the top line to start the season, so long as it's not 17-19 mins a night (17:33 last night). Double shift Yak and let him play LW for a few shifts with Hall & Hemsky.

Also, if your team scores 4 goals, it's the goalies responsibility to make sure those 4 goals are enough to win.

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#97 Pucker
October 02 2013, 12:44PM
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Nice, positive article. Or is it 'smarticle'?

I was down with the result but while watching the game last night, I was pleased with most of what I was seeing.

Much, much better than what I remember from last year. Hopefully they keep it up and improve.

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#98 etownman
October 02 2013, 12:49PM
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I did not like Dubnyk's game last night, should we turf him without another chance? No! MacT has got to watch this closely though because the whole team in front of him will play different if they don't have confidence in his ability! Some body language from some of his teammates after some of the goals said plenty!

Smyth looked out of place playing with Hemmer & Hall! A different look should be tried with either Yakupov or Joensuu! I hate to say it but Smytty looked tired & slow quite often last night!

I like the coaches philosophy to date but he overplayed Hallsy last night! I think Hall lost his legs in the second period because he was put back on the ice before he was fully recovered!

Acton, Brown & Gazdic need more ice time, not a lot but they have to get more of their physicality into the game! I know there was plenty of PP's but i would have liked to have seen these guys with a few more shifts!

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#99 Ricardodw
October 02 2013, 01:57PM
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Anyone else notice on how the Jets punked Eberle?

Eberle got hit 5 times and most of them big hits.

Hall had a bad game playing a new position and all but Eberle who is being paid to be one of the Oilers 3 best players was man-handled by the Jets and this wasn't even a division game.

Not hard to scout the Oilers. They need another big guy besides Joensuu to play with Eberle.

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#100 TM8Trent
October 02 2013, 03:46PM
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** wrote:

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.

Yes thanks I meant Brown, and had way too may wobbly pops and a touch of anger when I wrote this..

I like your idea as well, with Perron on the first, but I didn't want to break up Eberle & Perron after they had such great chemistry in preseason.

Either way the lines need work, and Smyth should not be on any line above the 3rd and he should not get more than 10 minutes a game.

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