GDB 4.0: LOOKING FOR MOMENTUM

Jason Gregor
October 10 2013 12:12PM

After a ferocious comeback led them to a shootout victory on Monday, the Oilers will be looking to carry that momentum into tonight's clash with the Montreal Canadiens. The Oilers have trailed by three goals heading into the 3rd period 285 times in franchise history, and Monday was only the 5th time they came back to win the game. Those types of comebacks are extremely rare, but the enthusiasm and confidence the Oilers gained from that game has been evident the past few days.

The players were more relaxed. This team is still quite young, especially their offensive leaders, and even though it was only eight periods of hockey, you could tell some of them were frustrated with their lack of production prior to the 3rd period explosion vs. the Devils.

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov desperately want to lead this team offensively. They feel their primary job is to score goals, and you could see they were getting frustrated not doing it. They have high expectations, and since Monday's victory you could see the relief on two of their faces.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in his first game, so he wasn't feeling any frustration, but he's just as hungry to lead this team as the other three.

As they mature, they will realize that on nights where their offence is struggling they can still help the team by playing solid defensively. It is easy to say, but much harder to accept. Very few young offensive stars can accept that playing great defence is as important as scoring a goal. They were able to dominate at every other level, and most of their domination came offensively.

This isn't a knock or a criticism, just a fact in today's game. The best offensive players become some of the best two-way players if their teams want to win. Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Patrice Bergeron are excellent two-way players, and Nugent-Hopkins is constantly talking about wanting to emulate them.

Hall, Eberle and Yakupov are equally aware of it, but it will take time before they don't get frustrated when the offence dries up. Usually their slumps won't last very long, so it won't be a big issue, but even a two-game drought can frustrate young snipers.

Hall's third period goal was a huge relief, and even though Eberle didn't score a goal, he contributed with an assist and he too was more relaxed the past few days.

Yakupov loves scoring goals, and after scoring six goals in his final three games he was hoping to carry that momentum into this season. It hasn't happened, yet, and you can see the frustration in his game. It seems many in Oilersnation want to blame his linemates for his lack of production. That is a lame excuse, and not one that Yakupov is thinking about.

Elite players don't think that way. Yakupov can score regardless of who he plays with, and when I spoke to him yesterday he said he just needs to shoot more and react better to plays. He's played most of the season with Boyd Gordon, who has a point in every game, so the excuse of weak linemates is not only a cop out, but also inaccurate.

Yakupov needs to shoot more, but he also needs to work harder to get into better shooting lanes. It is only three games, and no one should be that concerned, but stop blaming his linemates. Gordon is playing the best offensive hockey of his career, yet he's an anchor for Yakupov? It doesn't jive.

Yakupov will start producing, and when he does it will likely coincide with him simply working harder in every aspect of his game.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Yakupov
Gazdic-Acton-Brown

Ference-J. Schultz
Belov-Petry
Smid-N.Schultz

Dubnyk

I'm sure many will complain that Yakupov is playing with Smyth, but Eakins isn't afraid to juggle his lines, so I'm sure we will see Yakupov play with other duos as well. Eakins won't hesitate to switch up the lines if they aren't producing, but he stated yesterday he'd much rather keep his lines together, because that means they are playing well.

The Canadiens lost 3-2 in Calgary last night and didn't skate this morning, but Peter Budaj will get the start in goal for the Habs. Josh Gorges was injured and only played one shift in the third period last night, so he'll be a game time decision.

Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Briere
Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta
Prust-Moen-White/Bournival

Gorges??-Subban
Markov-Diaz
Bouillon-Tinordi

Budaj 

QUICK HITS....

  • David Perron is another scorer who wants to be a main contributor. After a solid preseason, five goals, he too was pressing for his first as an Oiler. After he ripped one over Brodeur's right shoulder he admitted he felt a great sense of relief. It is nice to see a bunch of players who truly want to contribute and win. Once this team learns to play better away from the puck, I believe they will be a handful for opposing teams.
     
  • Last year many wrote how Eberle's shooting % was unsustainable, and he would clearly regress. It is interesting how none of those same people wrote similar stories about Yakupov. Yakupov had 17 goals on 81 shots for a sizzling 21 SH%. If Eberle's 18.9% wasn't going to be repeated, shouldn't those people expect Yakupov to regress as well?
     
  • Perception and human nature is a funny thing. It seems some have decided it is Eberle vs. Yakupov, instead of hoping that both have great success. I sense that some would rather see Yakupov succeed than Eberle, mainly because he was the #1 overall pick. After a 76-point season many stats guys wanted to show why Eberle couldn't maintain those numbers, yet after Yakupov's rookie campaign many automatically assumed he'd become a 35-goal man. Why was Eberle's season critiqued due to SH%, but Yakupov's used as a stepping stone to future success?
     
  • Lars Eller is off to a great start for the Habs. He has four goals and six points in three games, while Aex Galchenyuk has five assists. Eakins likes to go power on power so we could see the RNH line vs. Galchenyuk which should be exciting.
     
  • I loved Tomas Hertl's goal. It is extremely difficult to pull that off in a game, and outside of Adam Oates, it seemed most hockey fans appreciated it. I liked Hall's response when I asked him if he feels it was disrespectful. "I think it is more insulting if a team stops trying against you than if they run up the score or score a flashy goal," said Hall. 

THE ORACLE....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers can't afford to go on the road with only one victory. They will play their best game of the early season and skate away with a 4-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Gordon has had four three-game point streaks in his career, but he's never had points in four consecutive games. He'll set a career high tonight with an assist, and make everyone forget about the dreadful two seasons of the Belanger Triangle.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Midway through the first period Alex Galchenyuk, the 3rd pick in the 2012 draft, will crush Yakupov, 1st pick in 2012, with an open ice hit. Yakupov is slow to get up, but on his next shift he rips a one-timer for his first goal of the season. Instead of a crazy celebration, he just stands still and raises his hands above his head with a big smile. After the game he thanks his former teammate for waking him from his early season slump.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR   

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Reg Dunlop
October 10 2013, 10:24PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Habs broke the Oil cycle like a bully stealing their lunch money. Out coached and outplayed when it counted. Great hustle, but it wasn't combined with a well executed system.

The Habs gained the Oilers zone way too easily tonight. Still the turnovers. Nuge, Hall and Ebs were trying to do too much on their own. There was no cohesion in the offensive zone.

I'm seriously getting sick of watching my team lose.

You may want to go to Mexico for the next two weeks.

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#102 washed up
October 10 2013, 10:32PM
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JJ wrote:

Galchy had another 2 points this night to bring his total to 7. Yak had 0. Just some interesting fact. Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

Ya, but Yak will score 60 goals next season.... Or maybe the season after. Yak reminds me of Alex Kovalev.

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#103 Serious Gord
October 10 2013, 11:18PM
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Slats wrote:

Can we please for the love of . . . . almighty put someone on the PP who is a threat to use a slap shot - this soft wrister crap from Schulz jr is brutal. And every team knows they are looking for that back door cross ice from the half wall. C'mon coach earn your wage and get creative - Montreal PP made ours look foolish. And it cost another game. I love Ference on PP no hesitation just a hard low slap shot he almost scored twice again tonight.

And finally Yak you are so lost out there bumping into your own players, you are really out of sync - take a look at your former teammate on Habs - a threat every shift, back checks hard, etc i think you just earned yourself a seat up high to start the road trip.

Excellent point in your first para. As for yak, I think he needs to play 1-2 line for a few games to see if he can straighten things out on the fly. If that doesn't do the trick then maybe have him sit out a few.

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#104 Devolution
October 10 2013, 11:47PM
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Kodiak wrote:

Pretty tough when your captain, who isn't an offensively gifted player, gets caught pinching twice. Why the %!+$ he feels the need to make bad pinches instead of playing defense is beyond me. More of a backbreaker than a bad Duby goal.

Those pinches happened when they were down and attempting to tie the game. It is sort of a hero or zero situation, when it works you are a hero.

I have no problem with pressing your luck a bit when you are down 2-1 late.

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#105 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 11 2013, 09:38AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

And regarding Eakins:

If the team is playing as uncohesively as they are now four weeks from now and the record is 4-10ish then it is entirely possible he is fired - along with most of his staff. Barry melrose got canned by Florida only 15 games in.

Clearly coaching isn't the only issue - but is one right now. Compare his lack of success to that of another rookie coach from the ahl - Patrick Roy.

It's not Roy's coaching winning those games. Take a look at Colorado's team sv%:

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201314&sit=5v5&sort=SVPCT&sortdir=DESC

1st in the league.

If you think coaching has anything to do with that and that it is sustainable, I've got some nice "waterfront" property to sell you.

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#106 PutzStew
October 11 2013, 09:51AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Poor Yakupov, he looks so lost out there right now, to blame a 19 year old for this teams problems is like blaming Dubnyk.

I agree with one of the posters, the Oilers are being out coached badly right now. They looked completely gassed by the end of the second, if you didn't know any better you would have thought the Oilers played last night.

This kid is a through bred and is being treated like a mule. He needs to be pushed, not held back. Hall was the same way when there were trying to "Protect him". Give him the ball and let him run. This is never going to happen on the third line.

I hope they trade him. Then I can cheer him when he is playing for a team that nows how to use him.

Also I don't except anyone on the ice to be accountable when the boobs in head office aren't. Change that and you have a winning team.

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#107 Cold Hard Truth
October 11 2013, 12:01PM
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If this team was a horse, it would be shot.

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#108 washed up
October 10 2013, 12:38PM
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Racki wrote:

I wish the thoughts some have of moving Eberle or Yakupov would die.

I don't think anybody wants to trade them, but when the team is desperately lacking in other aspects of the game... Say defense. You have to try and do something.

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#109 NJ
October 10 2013, 03:38PM
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@JJ

Not to rain on your parade because I think Galchenyuk is a talent, however I would bet my last dollar that if Yak was playing with 2 guys with the talent AND effort of Gallagher and Eller, you'd see a different result. I would also suggest that Galchenyuk Gordan and Smyth would yield Yak's current results.

Everyone says that Eakins likes duos ... Who is Yakupov's?

All that being said, JG has it right and Nail needs to be awesome in spite of his linemates. When his effort level reaches a level of consistency that is required for the nhl, he'll be the stud (no pun intended) we all want him to become.

Last: in regards to a trade, in one second I'd send Nail or Eberle to Nashville for Seth Jones. Big stay at home defenseman who's NHL ready and is likely to be a #1 d man just about the time we round into a conference leading competitor in say... 2-3 years. Bold? Absolutely. Bring it on.

Just my $.02...

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#110 Smythyyy
October 10 2013, 05:00PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He will go on the road with the team, and might play early next week.

Awesome, thanks JG. Small sample size but the guy seems like such a good fit. A top nine of:

RNH-Hall-Ebs Gordon-Hemmer-Perron Gagner-Joenssu-Yak

ain't too shabby. Obviously we'll need a bit more size and grit but these guys should be competitive.

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#111 The Soup Fascist
October 10 2013, 06:05PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Here is my Principe Pun for the game:

With Dallas Eakins going power for power with his line combos it will be Hall, Eberle, Nuge (HEN) vs. Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher (EGG). Who will finish first? The Chicken or the Egg? Baddy-Boom

Does the term "too much time on your hands" mean anything to you?

Seriously though, very inventive.

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#112 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
October 10 2013, 07:54PM
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How many Gazdic jerseys are going to be sold this year?

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#113 Clyde Frog
October 10 2013, 08:57PM
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Booo...

But at least Dubby can't be blamed for this one.

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#114 Clarko
October 10 2013, 11:26PM
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Slats wrote:

Can we please for the love of . . . . almighty put someone on the PP who is a threat to use a slap shot - this soft wrister crap from Schulz jr is brutal. And every team knows they are looking for that back door cross ice from the half wall. C'mon coach earn your wage and get creative - Montreal PP made ours look foolish. And it cost another game. I love Ference on PP no hesitation just a hard low slap shot he almost scored twice again tonight.

And finally Yak you are so lost out there bumping into your own players, you are really out of sync - take a look at your former teammate on Habs - a threat every shift, back checks hard, etc i think you just earned yourself a seat up high to start the road trip.

The Oilers PP is running at 25% which is very good. A 25% efficiency on the PP would be ranked in the top 3 in every season in NHL history. An I'm pretty sure that "soft wrister" worked out pretty good for guys like Lidstrom and Bourque.

The main problem with this team is their 5-on-5 play. Only 1.75 goals per game even strength this season which is far too low.

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#115 fatso
October 10 2013, 11:32PM
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why was the big easy playing if we wanted momentum. why wasn't Yakapov playing more. why do top draft picks play like other teams much lower draft picks.

why don't we shoot right after the blue - line.

why don't we hit.

why is Kelly Buckberger still here and.

why doesn't points determine who wears the C.

why not try and get another first overall jk.

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#116 Rotten Ron
October 11 2013, 08:36AM
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@Serious Gord

Roy was coaching in the QMJHL

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#117 Trolololo
October 11 2013, 11:52AM
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Furthermore, this smells like a George Burnett do over. The only question is, will oil management(oxymoron), give him the 35 games they gave Burnett.

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#118 madjam
October 11 2013, 12:56PM
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" Tale of the Tape" - tidbits from Coppernblue . Acton , Gazdik and Brown on ice for 6 minutes giving up 12 shots against and only one shot for . Credit Dubbie for making them look better than what they were/are . Even Belanger and Petrell were not that bad . Ference on ice for every goal against last two games in all situations . That's not exactly making our defence any better than last year , now is it . Read coppernblue article , it is an eye opener for some .

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#119 Slats
October 11 2013, 01:07PM
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madjam wrote:

" Tale of the Tape" - tidbits from Coppernblue . Acton , Gazdik and Brown on ice for 6 minutes giving up 12 shots against and only one shot for . Credit Dubbie for making them look better than what they were/are . Even Belanger and Petrell were not that bad . Ference on ice for every goal against last two games in all situations . That's not exactly making our defence any better than last year , now is it . Read coppernblue article , it is an eye opener for some .

Chara and Rask factor can mask a lot of shortcomings.

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#120 spliff
October 11 2013, 09:43PM
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madjam wrote:

Oilers figured they could duplicate the old Oilers by drafting the most skilled player each year rather than conventional wisdom that most would use - shore up the backend first and center figuring they could fix that in other ways - which still has not happened to any usable degree . Size and grit was left on the after burners . Lowe and Oiler fans got what they wanted , and now have to suffer the consequences of that type of rebuild .

You could start another rebuild , but this time you had better get pieces that are upsized to NHL status rather than just gutting away personnel and contracts . It will certainly have to be better than last few years attempts that ended in downgrades all over the roster . A new vision and definitely one with more foresight . The rebuild turned into a disaster as results bear out -tough to argue otherwise . At least one positive is the club is financially strong despite the results of the club , and a fan base that does not seem to mind this poor resulting "Never Ending Story " .

Saying that Oiler fans got what they wanted is unfair. I remember begging KLoser to sign GX but he was too busy begging Hossa with 10 million and embarrassing the franchise. I remember when I heard that KLoser traded Greene and Stoll for Lubo and thinking "what the f*ck is he doing?" I remember when KLoser got too emotional about Comrie and let a god asset go for next to nothing. I remember when KLoser let Tambelini screw up the Souray situation. They could have dealt with the Souray situation much more pragmatically, and he could still be playing here. I remember when KLoser embarrassed the city and franchise begging Heatly to come here. I remember KLoser insulting the fanbase on national TV. KLowe is an overconfident, arrogant as*hole, who relies on his past glories and friendship with the owner to justify his position. He is the worst type of manager; unqualified, overconfident and uneducated for this type of job. When the people at the top are not competent, it sends a bad vibe through the whole organization and you end up with what we have now, which is a unmitigated sh*tshow of incompetence. Oh yeah, just noticed the Flames outshot and outworked another opponent, and were rewarded with 2 more points. Hey MacLoser, WHEN?

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#121 outdoorzguy
October 10 2013, 12:49PM
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@A-Mc

Nope, never saw it, despite the fact it was all over the sports channels. Never saw it at all!!

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#122 Oiler Al
October 10 2013, 01:45PM
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A lot of conversation about the forwards playing better defensive hockey. No argument there, but, isn't about time the Defense played, better defense.

Petry and Smid, a number one pairing, playing like third line. Time to send SMid to the popcorn box to take a view.

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#123 rindog
October 10 2013, 02:33PM
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Geoff wrote:

Every time I've noticed Yakupov with Hall it just seems they have great chemistry.

I actually would like to some how see Hemsky with Yak. Hemsky loves to pass and would find Yak a lot...

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#124 The Towel Boy
October 10 2013, 02:56PM
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That is a wonderfully crafted NSOGDP. I read it and felt like I was there!!!

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#125 JJ
October 10 2013, 02:59PM
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I'm betting Galchenyuk destroys Yakupov on the scoreboard. Galchenyuk has 5 points in 3 games, Yak his nil points in 3 games.

Honestly, taking Yakupov over Galchenyuk is like taking Jordan Staal over Jonathan Toews or picking Snowpants over Couture. You'll see soon enough, but the Oil dun goofed and missed out on the real talent in that draft, in the form of a much needed center as well.

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#126 wiseguy
October 10 2013, 03:03PM
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Reinman wrote:

I hate to keep bringing him up, but only because I never feels like he gets a fair shake.

Smyth on that 3rd line is death for Yak. Bring up Omark, and play Omark-Gordon-Yak. You got a 2-way center and a couple of gifted offensive players.

Give Omark 10 games, if he doesn't cut it, then send him back down. He is the best offensive talent we have on LW that is not on the roster... give him a shot. If the oilers did that and he didn't perform, fine, I won't mention his name again. He had had success pretty much everywhere he has played outside of the NHL. I beleive he has the talent, just wish Oilers brass would put some faith in him.

Every team in the league, including ones with no skilled forwards and cannot score goals have passed on Omark. If Omark plays on your top 9, you run an AHL or KHL team. We've had 3 coaches on our team who think he cannot help the team. We have 29 other GM's and coaches who don't think he can help theirs. He should not play with Yak or any other Oiler.

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#127 madjam
October 10 2013, 03:59PM
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Time to rename the coach ? How's chuckles because he seldom smiles ? If he keeps up the scowl we can call him Ogre ?

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#128 Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!
October 10 2013, 04:10PM
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@Wax Man Riley

Similarities are striking... From Wikipedia:

"St. Louis earned a spot on the Calgary roster to begin the 1998–99 season and made his NHL debut on October 9, 1998, against the San Jose Sharks. He scored his first goal on October 20 against Dallas Stars' goaltender Roman Turek.[10] He began the season playing with Calgary's top forward, Theoren Fleury, but was quickly demoted to the fourth line, and often sat out of the lineup.[2] He appeared in only 13 games in Calgary, spending the majority of the season in Saint John where he led the AHL squad with 28 goals and 62 points.[10] He began the 1999–2000 season with Saint John, but earned a recall to Calgary after scoring 26 points in 17 games.[2] St. Louis completed his first full NHL season with 3 goals and 18 points in 56 games.[3] Pleased with his progress, general manager Al Coates picked up St. Louis' contract option for the 2000–01 season. However, the organization fired Coates and his staff that summer and the new management team was not interested in retaining his services. The Flames exposed St. Louis to the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft, but after he went unselected, the team bought out his contract and made him an unrestricted free agent.[2]"

Now, to save you the trouble, the next line in the article states that St. Louis had a few free agent offers. Still, it shows the importance of a legit opportunity. In Omark's case, has Omark had enough exposure for other GM's to know what they're passing on?

I get that there's a very strong case against him. The 'every team passed on him, at league minimum (or close?) salary is compelling, but probably not even the strongest anti-Omark argument.

All I'm saying, is that when I've seen Omark play, I thought he was already NHL calibre, with a lot of upside. You, the coaches and 30 GMs disagree with me. I just don't think he's had a fair shot.

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#129 Wax Man Riley
October 10 2013, 04:18PM
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NJ wrote:

Not to rain on your parade because I think Galchenyuk is a talent, however I would bet my last dollar that if Yak was playing with 2 guys with the talent AND effort of Gallagher and Eller, you'd see a different result. I would also suggest that Galchenyuk Gordan and Smyth would yield Yak's current results.

Everyone says that Eakins likes duos ... Who is Yakupov's?

All that being said, JG has it right and Nail needs to be awesome in spite of his linemates. When his effort level reaches a level of consistency that is required for the nhl, he'll be the stud (no pun intended) we all want him to become.

Last: in regards to a trade, in one second I'd send Nail or Eberle to Nashville for Seth Jones. Big stay at home defenseman who's NHL ready and is likely to be a #1 d man just about the time we round into a conference leading competitor in say... 2-3 years. Bold? Absolutely. Bring it on.

Just my $.02...

This idea is stupid!! ........

But you're probably totally right. Eventually that tough decision is going to have to be made.

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#130 They're $hittie
October 10 2013, 05:57PM
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Eberle Shooting % vs Yaks

Eberles was written about because;

- his was over the course of the whole year - his was done at the age of 21 - he doesnt naturally shoot as much as yakupov - eberle played with high end linemates that create a lot of room for him

Yakupov was not written about because;

- his was done as a 19 year old - it was only a half year and those stats usually dont get analyzed - hes shoots more than eberle - his linemates were not as good

People still think yakupovs percentage will regress. But not his points totals. People feel Eberle has gotten to a high level of his overall game, but that yakupov has much further to go. Neither will sustain those percentages but yakupovs game will equate to more points in the future.

Both are good, but Yak does have a higher ceiling.

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#131 wiseguy
October 10 2013, 07:28PM
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@Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!

I agree with your statement that the Oilers have a very poor history of developing young players (other than the very top picks). Players like Pitlick, Hamilton, and Lander all were highly touted at the draft yet have not progressed. I'm not comparing Yak to Omark, but I'm guessing if we put Yak on waivers, there'd be GM's falling over themselves to put in the claim. Teams with much better track records for developing players (Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, etc.) do not feel that Omark is worth claiming and developing in their system. If they don't want him, I sure don't have any hope of the Oilers to turn him into an NHL player.

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#132 Bucknuck
October 10 2013, 07:57PM
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I've been loving the way Petry is playing.

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#133 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 10 2013, 07:58PM
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@Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

Thanks buddy. You'd think Cenovus could afford the premium sports packages, but you'd be wrong :/

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#134 YFC Prez
October 10 2013, 09:16PM
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Holy moly. That's some good hockey to end the period

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#135 madjam
October 11 2013, 07:40AM
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Oilers figured they could duplicate the old Oilers by drafting the most skilled player each year rather than conventional wisdom that most would use - shore up the backend first and center figuring they could fix that in other ways - which still has not happened to any usable degree . Size and grit was left on the after burners . Lowe and Oiler fans got what they wanted , and now have to suffer the consequences of that type of rebuild .

You could start another rebuild , but this time you had better get pieces that are upsized to NHL status rather than just gutting away personnel and contracts . It will certainly have to be better than last few years attempts that ended in downgrades all over the roster . A new vision and definitely one with more foresight . The rebuild turned into a disaster as results bear out -tough to argue otherwise . At least one positive is the club is financially strong despite the results of the club , and a fan base that does not seem to mind this poor resulting "Never Ending Story " .

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#136 Hemmercules
October 11 2013, 09:49AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Too early to cast a verdict on the season to be sure, but the signs thusfar are definitely cause for concern.

And arguably the toughest ten game stretch of the season starts tomorrow.

The stage is set for disaster. We shall if the players and the coaches can endure and make the corrections and still be in the playoff hunt on nov 3.

I'm going to call it right now and say they wont be in a playoff spot November 3rd, very bold prediction I know. They have a chance at the playoff this year but it will be a scrape-in if they make it.

Over half the players on the Oilers are either new to the team or new to the NHL. Even the players that have been here a few years don't look like they have a ton of chemistry with each other at the moment. Combine that with average goaltending and a new system and they are in pretty tough this year.

No one is intimidated to play the Oilers, and why should they be?? This team has been soft for years. They have been throwing their weight around a bit more this year but it hasn't resulted in much so far. Even their top offensive threats aren't scaring anyone right now unless its a shootout or a breakaway

Eberle is the new Hemsky, he's getting flattened every time he turns around and I haven't seen much support from his fellow players following those hits. He will be concussed or into some shoulder surgeries before you know it.

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#137 2004Z06
October 11 2013, 12:46PM
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I can only laugh.....Thought the effort was at least better tonight. Too many "superstars" ignoring the team concept.

Love the hate for Eakins already after 4 games. This is clearly not a coaching issue after 5 coaches you need to start looking for blame elsewhere. Doesn't matter who is coaching this team. Too many spoiled, entitled looking out for number one brats.

Every time Taylor Hall gets crushed, no one comes to his aid. Either the team is too soft, or they simply don't like Taylor Hall.

I hope it is the former. Time to shake this group up a little.

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#138 oilerjed
October 10 2013, 02:30PM
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Im a little bit concerned about the game tonight. It is not showing up on Center Ice and they block out the SNwest feed here on the island. I bettern not be getting screwed by RDS!

Oil score early and often to win 6-2, with a Yak hatty and celebration that even bitchy Hab fans will cheer for.

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#139 Dog Train
October 10 2013, 03:08PM
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@Toe-Dragger

That's awesome. A little weird but awesome nonetheless. I hate it when media types try to take skill or entertainment out of the game. If you don't want the score getting run up on you then why don't you play better? This isn't peewee, this is the big leagues and you get paid to play the games from start to finish.

Anyways, a going away win is critical right now. The Habs played last night so let's jump all over them. We should be fresh and hopefully the new found confidence of some of our top players shows up in their play tonight. I'll say 5-3 Oilers. GO OILERS GO!!

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#140 JJ
October 10 2013, 03:15PM
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Wellwood is now seeking employment or retiring. Would be a better option than Acton at this point.

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#141 Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!
October 10 2013, 03:44PM
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@wiseguy

Tough to argue with what you're saying about Linus. Still, I'm gonna try:

1. how many teams took a pass on Marty St Louis before he got a fair chance?

2. Every time I've been able to watch Omark, I've been impressed with his hustle, effort, creativity and puck possession. I don't get to watch the Oil as much as I'd like (stupid real life) so I've missed a lot of the Omark saga, but what I've observed firsthand is in direct opposition to what I hear secondhand.

I'll admit the stats back the 'Not an NHL player' argument, (especially in the preseason) but hey, look at the panic/criticism/excuse making/controversy surrounding Yakupov. Does Yak get the same treatment as Omark? Nope. He's had so much more opportunity than Omark, and nobody (rightfully so) would dream of sending him to OKC when he's slumping. Why doesn't Omark get a chance to find his game over a full season with the team, including PP time. I'm not saying that Omark is the same player as Yak, but Nail is benefitting from more opportunity in a lockout season than Omark has gotten in 5 years.

I think Omark can play, but might never get a legit opportunity. I guess if you want to be an offensive player in Edm, you've got to be drafted first overall or learn your trade at the World Juniors or with another team that has an effective system for helping players get better. The Oil do not develop skill forwards - those guys spin their wheels in the minors and never get better or get a look. Do the players get some of the blame? Of course, but look at the pattern: Rob Schremp, MPS, Omark, Rajala. All had potential, none have achieved it here.

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#142 dv.asteroid
October 10 2013, 04:10PM
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Just wondering....is yak-city a plus or minus? Even, perhaps?

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#143 Rocket
October 10 2013, 05:07PM
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Games against eastern teams will be really interesting this year. Most teams change their line ups quite a bit from year to year and because of the lockout (spit), it's been a long time since The Oilers played a lot of these teams.

The Habs especially have really changed so this game almost seems like kind of a crap shoot; anything could happen.

I'm excited to see Galchenyuk play against The Oilers first line to see how they match up. I hope Eakins plays Yakupov on the first line so he plays against his old teammate but that probably won't happen.

I wonder if Yakupov will ever play on the top line?

And fingers crossed for a bounce back game from Dubnyk.

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#144 Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!
October 10 2013, 05:13PM
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@Wax Man Riley

I guess it comes down to what we're actually saying. Bump one of the super kids? I've never been in favor of that. Pair him up with Yak to see if Nail can benefit from a more creative linemate? That's what I'm saying.

Who comes out? Smyth? Whoever injures their shoulder next? Heck, maybe Hemmer could benefit from the odd night off - try to prevent the 2013-14 cycle of "Aw, really? He sky's hurt again? He was one of our best players this year". I just think the leading scorer in the KHL (I think I read that here) should get some sort of opportunity. 7 more games than Liam Reddox got on a horrible team, lined up with no-hustle Penner in 10-11. 15 games the year after. He plays for someone else and lights it up. My opinion is that he warrants a legit opportunity.

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#145 Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!
October 10 2013, 05:15PM
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Oh yeah - sorry JG and ON for hijacking this thread. I meant to talk about Yak, but I feel quite strongly about Omark and got sidetracked.

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#146 Old School G
October 10 2013, 05:20PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

The Canadiens play with more heart and outwork the Oilers this evening. Eakins starts the wrong goaltender, back into the flames for Dubey as the Oil get torched 6-2. Oilers can't overcome a quick start by the Habs. Montreal is amped up after last night and the Oilers are bored and a little too relaxed since Tuesday.

It's been 6 weeks since Eakins fitness structure was implemented. Should have started to see the benefits of this by now...no reason for them to get outworked.

I'm on to you Mr. Ballet, you're a big time Oilers fanatic just like the rest of us but have understood the necessity and also the attention that comes along with always being the villain as your picture aptly portrays. Not a bad angle my friend. GO OIL!

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#147 Clyde Frog
October 10 2013, 07:57PM
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Well we are not down 3-0!

That means we pretty much already won tonight right?

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#148 Clyde Frog
October 10 2013, 08:02PM
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*cough* http://nutjob.eu/njtvx19.html *cough*

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#149 Thumby
October 10 2013, 08:13PM
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Gasdic for mayor!

sorry about the spelling! LOL

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#150 Serious Gord
October 11 2013, 08:23AM
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Hemmercules wrote:

Well now that they are 1-3 I guess the season is over, with a measly 78 games left there is absolutely no hope of saving the season. Better trade the whole team and fire Eakins immediately before its too late!

Effort was better last night. Dubnyk looked ok from what I saw. Our skill guys need to start carrying the team a bit, score some goals already. Yak and Eberle look lost half the time.

I wonder if playing a third system in 3 years has anything to do with some of the struggles certain players are having??

Too early to cast a verdict on the season to be sure, but the signs thusfar are definitely cause for concern.

And arguably the toughest ten game stretch of the season starts tomorrow.

The stage is set for disaster. We shall if the players and the coaches can endure and make the corrections and still be in the playoff hunt on nov 3.

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