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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#51 John
October 11 2013, 12:04AM
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The players worked hard and it was an exciting game. If they were really sucking, I would've been bored and depressed watching the game (like the first two periods of the previous game), but it was a fun one to watch.

And so much of hockey is up to chance--bouncing pucks, missed calls, someone loses an edge on some soft ice--that I'm not too bothered by this loss. This time the chances didn't work out, but who knows about next game.

Anyway, I enjoyed the game. I'm looking forward to the next one!

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#52 Trolololo
October 11 2013, 11:40AM
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Fire eakins! Fire McTavish! Fire Lowe!Get an owner who wants to win not just hang around with boyhood idols.

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#53 A-Mc
October 10 2013, 12:40PM
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I Eff'n love how this team is shaping up. Gordon has been fantastic, Perron was an absolute STEAL from STL (Go MacT!), Ference is solid and does things the right way, Uncle Yesse was kick'n arse until his back went out.etc

I really like the team dynamics. I like how we have some new guys who WANT it badly. No excuses for failure anymore. The vibe seems different and I'm hopeful that it translates into success on the ice.

That being said, My hockey draft includes Eller and Galchenyuk so i hope the Oilers win 11-10; all 10 goals against being scored on the PP or Shorthanded by Eller or Galchenyuk.. k Thx! **

*Ranked 7 of 10 in his Yahoo Fantasy hockey draft* - Desperation mode already!

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#54 Craig1981
October 10 2013, 12:52PM
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WIN tonight= Oilers have found their game and are cup competitors. MacT and Eakins are saviors

LOSE- Oilers got lucky for one period and are finishing last, we need to make BOLD trades. Get Dubnyk and KLowe gone by next game

TRUTH-Lets see where we are at in December

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#55 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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#56 Toe-Dragger
October 10 2013, 02:08PM
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Completely off topic but Joe Thornton just dropped the funniest quote I've seen in years:

Hearing a question to Marleau about Hertl and whether he was showboating, Thornton said: “Shut up, have you ever played the game?” . When the press turned his way, he then added: “I’d have my cock out if I scored four goals. I’d have my cock out, stroking it.” OK, then.

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#57 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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#58 Shaun Doe
October 10 2013, 05:19PM
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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

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#59 Oiler63
October 10 2013, 05:22PM
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Yak > Seth Jones

Eberle for Jones would be a pretty good HOCKEY trade.

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#60 Mike Krushelnyski
October 10 2013, 10:23PM
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Can we tear down our rebuild and rebuild it again?

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#61 jonny94
October 10 2013, 10:30PM
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Poolanov wrote:

Brutal play by Hopkins on Montreal's 3rd goal.

You mean Ference right? He was the D man that pinched and created the 2 on 1.... Can't blame Hopkins when he gets pinned to the boards by 2 Habs with no support.

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#62 spliff
October 11 2013, 12:08AM
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Oilers in 29th already. Now, to get back in the mix they will need to string some victories together. What are the chances of that? I have been patient for many years, but I am sick of losing.

Look at the Leafs, Columbus and the Avs, and now look at the Oilers. And my biggest nightmare...look at the Flames. If the Flames finish ahead of us in Year One of their rebuild, how do KLowe, MacT and the gang explain that to this abused and taken-for-granted fan base? Same old sh*t and I am sick of losing. Even if we do make the playoffs (which I highly doubt)it will be in 8th place. When was the last time the oilers finished higher then 7th place? 1991? WTF? The management of this organization is terrible, and based on their track record, should not be employed to run an NHL team. There are no more excuses. This far along into a rebuild, after 7 years of no playoffs, this team needs to be winning more games then they are losing, regardless of injuries or schedule. Very tired of this crap, year after year.

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#63 Serious Gord
October 11 2013, 10:31AM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

Roy was coaching in the QMJHL

You're right of course. Mental mistake on my part. The point still stands however.

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#64 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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#65 Lochenzo
October 10 2013, 12:34PM
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Put Dubnyk in that same category of guys not playing loose. Get that first win under his belt and maybe he'll be better.

I'm glad to see that everyone is feeling the pressure to succeed. Just need to learn how to internalize that go out and play your game.

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#66 A-Mc
October 10 2013, 12:43PM
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Speaking of goalie blunders that might go to your head: did anyone catch that J. Quick goal against a few nights ago?

Loses his stick and then the puck redirects off his blocker and into the net, while he's 20ft from his net.

now THAT can go to a guys head..

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#67 Will
October 10 2013, 12:55PM
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Should be an exciting game tonight. I am happy that Eakins has not broken up the fourth line yet. They have leaked a few scoring chances including an extended segment where they were hemmed in their own zone and couldn't clear. But they haven't been scored on yet. Gazdic and Brown are really laying some hits out there. Good to see we're not making it as easy for other teams.

I really hope they move Yak up onto the top line for just a little while tonight for several reasons:

1. He would match up against Gally.

2. For the love of God it's been 51 games and we still have not seen the all number 1 pick, all at their natural position line. I want to see what three consecutive first overalls can do on a line together. Tonight is the night.

Also, looking at the Candians line up, and looking at ours, there is no way we should not win this.

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#68 The Soup Fascist
October 10 2013, 01:30PM
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Keg on Legs wrote:

Damn, too late

Relax Kegger, you will have 78 other opportunities for game-day idiocy.

...and hopefully a few playoff games too.

*Waits patiently for diehard "fisters" to defend their obsession.

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#69 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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#70 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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#71 Chaz
October 10 2013, 03:37PM
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....oh wait, I also hate Calgary Fans.....and Vancouver Fans (REALLY hate Vancouver Fans)....and Toronto Fans......

For some reason I'm okay with Winnipeg and Ottawa fans. Not sure why.....

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#72 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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#73 Simpsonite
October 10 2013, 03:49PM
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My funny Habs here story:

We have seats right by the visitor penalty box one day. Gionta gets a penalty. I start chirping him. "GIONTA!!! GIONTA!!! YOU'RE A CARNEY!!! YOU ARE CIRCUS FOLK!!!!" I can see his face...he can hear me and he's not entirely sure what to think...probably never been called a carney before...but he pretends to ignore me...

"CARRRRNNNNEEEEE!!" CARRRRNNNNEEEEE!!"

Penalty ends.

Then he gets another one. Same chirping ensues. This goes on all game. I think he was in the box 3 times.

Later on after a melee breaks out in the third (I think the Oil were up by a bunch) and there is a parade of folks to the box, Smid and Gionta are standing by the half circle waiting for the refs to come deliver the penalty news. They're chatting and scanning the crowd for probably hot chicks. Our eyes meet. Gionta looks me square in the eyes and I point to him and mouth the words:

"Hey. You're a carney"

And he bursts out laughing.

G'Oil.

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#74 Romanus
October 10 2013, 04:53PM
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The black cloud showed up.

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#75 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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#76 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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#77 Bucknuck
October 10 2013, 07:57PM
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I've been loving the way Petry is playing.

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#78 The Soup Fascist
October 10 2013, 08:33PM
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Reasons for considering giving up my long held seasons tickets:

1. Seven years of no playoffs? ....... Nah.

2. Spotty play to begin this season? ........ No biggie.

3. Crappy hot dogs and overpriced beer? ...... Negative.

4. Smytty being slower than most beer leaguers? .......... Still love Smytty.

5. Four minutes of Adele to "pump up" the crowd before the game ....... THAR SHE BLOWS!!!

GRAB A CLUE FFS, Oilers' pre-game producers!

Sincerely, soon to be Tier 2 Fan.

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#79 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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#80 Oiler63
October 10 2013, 09:35PM
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Yak hasn't played a second after that second goal. That kind of lazy defensive play will not do him any favor.

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#81 Ari Gold
October 10 2013, 10:16PM
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I'm seriously getting sick of watching my team lose. The Oilers are slipping into Pittsburgh Pirates territory....

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#82 Geoff
October 10 2013, 10:23PM
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Oilers could really use a Chris ponger clone right about now :(

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#83 Slats
October 10 2013, 10:42PM
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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.

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#84 madjam
October 10 2013, 11:36PM
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Frustrating isn't it for Oilers fans . How can you take a three year cellar club and have it move upward last year , only to have it move back down and perform worse again this year with a new GM and coach ? That's what draws my ire !

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#85 lolhockey
October 10 2013, 11:44PM
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So maybe my comment on the first page wasn't so far off after all.

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#86 nick
October 11 2013, 12:35AM
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O.K. is fives games to soon to say Ference is bad bda bda. He has been on the ice for the last 7 goals scored against. That is excluding the open net goal. how J.Schultz plays that much is amazing he has no clue defensively. Very interesting coaching by an AHL coach

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#87 Hemmercules
October 11 2013, 08:10AM
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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??

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#88 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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#89 Craig1981
October 10 2013, 01:00PM
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lolhockey wrote:

I really like Yakupov and I hope he does well tonight. He might not score, but he needs to play better.

If he doesn't, I think he'll be the first of the Fab 5 to be made an example of and take a seat in the press box.

Yak is trying. You make an example out of someone that isn't putting in effort, not having trouble cause they are trying too hard.

Think benching him would compound the problem, putting MORE pressure on him.

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#90 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 10 2013, 01:18PM
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If you guys are looking for a laugh today, check this out - it's making its rounds in Winnipeg this morning:

http://teamof18001.blogspot.ca/2013/10/a-guide-for-wild-fans-when-playing-jets.html

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#91 Johe
October 10 2013, 01:20PM
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I have already forgotten about the Belanger Triangle. Gordon has been superior in every way possible. Against NJ, in the third period alone, he made more contact with opposing players than Belanger did in two years.

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#92 vetinari
October 10 2013, 01:23PM
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I hate my brother-in-law.

He is a die-hard Habs fan.

Beers, bragging rights and family pride are on the line tonight.

The Oil better show up and play some NHL hockey.

GDP: Oilers 5 Habs 4

OGDP: It won't be pretty but the Oilers get the job done after racing out to a 4-1 lead to start the third.

NSOGDP: Yak hits Eller low in the corner during a dump and chase. Eller slashes Yak across the wrists. The gloves come off and they each get into their first fights of their young NHL careers.

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#93 Bloodsweatandoil
October 10 2013, 01:45PM
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8-1 for the Oilers...Here's also hoping there are more Oiler Jerseys in the crowd than Habs Jerseys!

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#94 SnailYakupov
October 10 2013, 02:09PM
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JG: if anything, yak destroys Galchenyuk open ice. #NailedIt

Hopefully his new commercial kickstarts his season.

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#95 Geoff
October 10 2013, 02:18PM
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Every time I've noticed Yakupov with Hall it just seems they have great chemistry.

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#96 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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#97 Wax Man Riley
October 10 2013, 03:40PM
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Chaz wrote:

....oh wait, I also hate Calgary Fans.....and Vancouver Fans (REALLY hate Vancouver Fans)....and Toronto Fans......

For some reason I'm okay with Winnipeg and Ottawa fans. Not sure why.....

Wow, my thoughts EXACTLY!

Ott,'Peg; you're all good in my books.

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#98 Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!
October 10 2013, 03:52PM
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@Chaz

Why like Winnipeg fans? We can relate to them. In Oil country it's been rough for a long time, but they lost their team. Plus, in no time at all, they've shown they're among the best fans in the league. Passionate, loud, go-into-another-team's-barn-and-drown-them-out, and even the whole True North thing. What's not to like?

Also - we (maybe just me?) like Ottawa because they aren't Calgary, they aren't the centre of the universe, and they're not in our division. Oh yeah, and they're no threat to us.

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#99 westcoastoil
October 10 2013, 04:01PM
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Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe! wrote:

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.

Keep in mind every other team in the league could have grabbed him off waivers and didn't.

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#100 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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