GDB 5.0: IT IS VERY SIMPLE...

Jason Gregor
October 12 2013 11:40AM

Ideally your team would win every game, but since no North American pro team other than the 1972 Miami Dolphins has done that, fans expect their team will lose a few games. There are certain games, however, where you desperately want your team to win. Tonight is one of those for Oilers' fans.

The Oilers don't play the Leafs very often, 90 times in 33 NHL seasons, but they are an easy organization to dislike. They haven't won a Stanley Cup in 46 years; they will extend that to 47 years in June, yet their fanbase acts like they are the darling franchise of the NHL.

My late father's favourite player was Dick Duff, great name, so there was no love for the Maple Leafs in our house. Dad wasn't a diehard Habs fan, but he loathed the Maple Leafs and I'm thankful I inherited the same disdain for the Leafs.

They've had some players I enjoyed watching: Borje Salming, Mike Palmateer, Wendel Clark and Tie Domi to name a few, but when their own captain, Mats Sundin, screws them over like he did it is clear even the players don't respect the organization.

Due to my job, I'm not a fan of the Oilers, but there are certain games where my inner-Edmontonian appears and I watch the game hoping the opposition sucks the hind banana. Tonight is one of those nights.

Oilers fans have endured a lot of losing the last decade, yet you still find the strength to turn on the TV and watch the Blue and Orange. The Oilers are making a rare early appearance on Hockey Night In Canada, and an Oiler victory could turn your evening into a "runaway" very quickly.

For your sake, and the sake of every drinking establishment in Edmonton, I hope it happens.

LINEUP

Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Hemsky
Smyth/Joensuu-Gordon-Yakupov
Gazdic/Smyth-Acton-Brown

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

Dubnyk

The Oilers recalled Philip Larsen yesterday and sent Denis Grebeshkov down for a conditioning stint. Larsen is a natural RD, and he could give the Oilers more offence from the back end. He likely won't play tonight, but you will see Ladislav Smid back with Jeff Petry and Anton Belov back on the right side playing with Nick Schultz.

Eakins said if Jesse Joensuu is ready to go, he will play. That likely means Ryan Smyth or Luke Gazdic comes out of the lineup. Smyth scored the only goal last game, so it might be hard to take him out, however, the Oilers claimed Gazdic so when they played a team like Toronto they would have a heavyweight. It wll be interesting to see if Joensuu is ready, who Eakins sits.

***UPDATE*** Yakupov will be a healthy scratch.*** Clearly Eakins is making a statement regarding the 2nd Montreal goal last game.

Dubnyk played better on Thursday, but he'll need to be very good for the Oilers to skate away with a win. Jonathan Bernier has stopped 113 of 116 shots, .974SV%, and many Leafs fans are already writing his Vezina trophy speech. Remember when Nikolai Khabibulin had a .960 SV% at the end of October, 2011. How did that season end?

Bernier has played 3 1/2 games, and he's been stellar, but if the Leafs continue to give up 35 shots a game his numbers will drop significantly.

QUICK HITS....

  • Hall, RNH, Eberle, Perron, Hemsky and Yakupov need to capitalize on their chances. The Leafs are surrendering 34.8 shots per game thus far.
     
  • The Leafs draw a lot of penalties and their PP is red-hot, 28.6%. The Oilers will need to keep their feet moving and not take stick infractions. The Leafs have drawn 15 tripping, hooking, slashing and interference penalties thus far. The Oilers will need to skate with them.
     
  • Kessel leads the Leafs with 6 points in 5 games, and he's 2nd in the NHL in shots with 26. Eakins must avoid having his 4th line out against them.
     
  • The 4th line has to stop icing the puck, or they will see a lot of Kessel's line. It is clear Gadzik has been told to just get the puck out of the zone, but he has to stop icing it, or at the very least take a few extra strides, get to centre and then dump it in. He's iced the puck too often so far.
     
  • Eberle has five goals in four games vs. the Leafs. I sense he or Yakupov will end their goal-scoring drought tonight.
     
  • Previous meetings between these two clubs have no impact on tonight's game, but the Oilers have scored 3 or more goals in their last 5 games in Toronto. Hopefully we see a high-scoring game tonight.
     
  • The Western conference is 18-5-2 vs. the East thus far. Both the Oilers and Leafs are 1-1 in inter-conference play.

LOOKING AHEAD...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers skate away with a 4-3 victory and silence the Vezina talk of Bernier.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: This is the easy, if Gazdic plays, he and Colton Orr drop the mitts early in the first period. If he sits, then I'll go with the other obvious prediciton; Joffrey Lupul, a former Oiler, scores against his Oilers.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Jeff Petry averages a point-per-game against the Leafs. He's only played them twice, but he has a goal and an assist. Petry will actually use his heavy slap shot tonight, and he'll beat Bernier for his 2nd goal of the season.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#151 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:37PM
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That is a save Dubnyk has to start making.Game saver.

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#152 Zamboni Driver
October 12 2013, 07:37PM
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@Spydyr

Broke up the no hitter though :P

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#153 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:39PM
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Have no seen this much try from Smyth in a long time.Good to see.Like the old days.

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#154 Zamboni Driver
October 12 2013, 07:43PM
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S H O C K E R

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#155 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:43PM
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Dubnyk.....stop something,anything.

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#156 I tried it at home
October 12 2013, 07:44PM
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OK, enough is enough, Im jumping on the "get another goalie" wagon. Any room left?

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#157 OilClog
October 12 2013, 07:44PM
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What was Dubnyk doing this summer.. Brutal.

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#158 Alsker
October 12 2013, 07:44PM
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R u f%^kin kidding me...can we not get 1 big save for 4million a year!!!

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#159 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:44PM
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I hate when Dubnyk stands up with his stick off the ice when the puck is 30 feet from him.Stop being so lazy and get in your crouch like every other NHL goalie.

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#160 Zamboni Driver
October 12 2013, 07:45PM
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Honest to god.

There is a reason it's called a SAVE.

Dubnyk makes no 'saves'. Makes some stops, ZERO saves.

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#161 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:45PM
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I tried it at home wrote:

OK, enough is enough, Im jumping on the "get another goalie" wagon. Any room left?

Welcome aboard.After this game were going to need a bigger boat um wagon.

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#162 EP
October 12 2013, 07:47PM
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Get Bryzgalov right now!!!

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#163 I tried it at home
October 12 2013, 07:47PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Welcome aboard.After this game were going to need a bigger boat um wagon.

Looks like it'll be a submarine.

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#164 DCC
October 12 2013, 07:48PM
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This goaltending situation has GOT to be demoralizing for the rest of the team. Apparently we need to score 7 goals per game to have a chance.

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#165 Harry
October 12 2013, 07:48PM
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Anyone who writes columns on how dd is a good starter in this league is a complete retard.

He is a good 15-20 game backup at most. Absolutely brutal. 3 terrible goals should be a 5-2 win. Puck me running!!!!

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#166 Alsker
October 12 2013, 07:48PM
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I said during game 1 this is so 05-06, so we've gone thru 7 years of crap for what???

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#167 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:48PM
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EP wrote:

Get Bryzgalov right now!!!

Not sure if he is the answer .He seems to wear his welcome out very quickly.

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#168 Zamboni Driver
October 12 2013, 07:51PM
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Yeah.

#DubnyktoECHL

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#169 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:51PM
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Did you see the "braintrust" after the winning goal?

New goalie coming in soon as DSF says.....book it.

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#170 I tried it at home
October 12 2013, 07:52PM
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Sooooo.... how's about trying Boyd Gordon in goal? Also, anyone heard from Jeff Deslauriers lately?

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#171 The Real Scuba Steve
October 12 2013, 07:52PM
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Brutal...

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#172 Zamboni Driver
October 12 2013, 07:52PM
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Huh.

5-hole.

Stunning.

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#173 Oilcruzer
October 12 2013, 07:53PM
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If I see another Dubnyk blog that says he needs to work thru it, I will flip out. You have to establish you are good before you can have a chance to work your way back there.

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#174 I tried it at home
October 12 2013, 07:54PM
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OilClog wrote:

What was Dubnyk doing this summer.. Brutal.

Barley based beverages?

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#175 Oilcruzer
October 12 2013, 07:54PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Did you see the "braintrust" after the winning goal?

New goalie coming in soon as DSF says.....book it.

Book it indeed.

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#176 chadster
October 12 2013, 07:54PM
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That had better have been Dubs last dam game ever in a uniform!!!!!

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#177 Harry
October 12 2013, 07:55PM
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So hapoy with our game tonight. We dominated the leafs for most of this game.

That being said.....MACT DO YOUR FRIGGIN JOB AND FIND US A GOALIE!!!

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#178 Smokey
October 12 2013, 07:55PM
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I've supported Dubby for two years and still believe he's a good goalie, but obviously with this teams systemic problems we need a guy who can make the big save. He was brutal. He needed to make one big save all night.

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#179 Zamboni Driver
October 12 2013, 07:55PM
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26 shots.

6 goals.

BUT THE CORSI, BUT THE CORSI!

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#180 Gerald R. Ford
October 12 2013, 07:56PM
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You'd think it wouldn't hurt as much, knowing it's going to happen...

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#181 Shifty203
October 12 2013, 07:56PM
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Harry wrote:

So hapoy with our game tonight. We dominated the leafs for most of this game.

That being said.....MACT DO YOUR FRIGGIN JOB AND FIND US A GOALIE!!!

Doesn't matter if we get a new goalie. This team is horrendous on defence, and will hang that goalie out to dry as well.

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#182 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:57PM
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Just looked up sieve in the dictionary.This is what I saw. http://espn.go.com/nhl/player/_/id/3242/

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#183 Oilers4lifer
October 12 2013, 07:57PM
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I was holding out hope for so long on DD, and defended him even until before the game started. Why so deep in the net? You're a giant, and that Kadri shot should have just hit you in the chest/shoulders if you just positioned yourself well. So tired of his softies, and also all the blogs looking at the positives. Doesn't matter how many positives we have improved on if we don't win! And there's no winning until our goalie makes more saves.

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#184 Dave
October 12 2013, 07:57PM
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I did write comments this summer that I thought the way to build a team was from the net out. There was not much interest . Most preferred to get a big centre first.

Season is not lost yet but we do not have a number #1 goalie.

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#185 Trolololo
October 12 2013, 07:57PM
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Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Dallas Eakins, great AHL coach? Cannot coach this obviously AHL calibre team!

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#186 Alsker
October 12 2013, 07:57PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

If I see another Dubnyk blog that says he needs to work thru it, I will flip out. You have to establish you are good before you can have a chance to work your way back there.

Both MacT + Klowe were here in '06 when we went thru the same BS, will they wait until the trade deadline again???After the great playoff run everyone deserted the team. Are we going to see the same thing again? History is repeating itself, wake the f^%k up MacT and do something!!!!!! Sorry for the rant, a little too much Capt M. but damn, we should have had this one!!!!!!!!!

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#187 Smokey
October 12 2013, 07:58PM
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chadster wrote:

That had better have been Dubs last dam game ever in a uniform!!!!!

I concur it was probably his worst as an Oilers, I'm not counting meaningless losses when the team in front of him really blew, but get bent. You know as well as I he's struggling, but even if we found a better goalie he's probably still with the team.

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#188 DSF
October 12 2013, 07:59PM
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I really need Willis to come by and tell me Dubnyk is an average NHL goaltender again.

.769

Good grief

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#189 2004Z06
October 12 2013, 07:59PM
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I am officially off of supporting Dubnyk.

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#190 DSF
October 12 2013, 08:00PM
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Trolololo wrote:

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Dallas Eakins, great AHL coach? Cannot coach this obviously AHL calibre team!

All hat.

No cattle.

See ya Dallas.

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#191 Oilersfan4
October 12 2013, 08:01PM
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WOW. We can't buy a win, brutal goaltending,brutal defense , glad to see Ebs get going, but I wonder are we a better team then last year(NO). Dallas Eakin's system to me is very confusing. Someone said earlier the swarming D system looks like a fire drill and I kinda agree everyone is everywhere. You look at other teams and they are calm and collected and then you look at the Oilers, it doesn't even look like there is a system in place. Maybe it's just me

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#192 madjam
October 12 2013, 08:02PM
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Oilers duplicate the Eskimos way of throwing away games . How often can they both find ways to lose . Maybe Capitals will be more gracious . Goalies on both teams played bad .

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#193 Serious Gord
October 12 2013, 08:02PM
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@Oilcruzer

I took pleasure in seeing their reaction. They deserve to suffer. They have made oiler fans suffer at the hands of their incompetency for a long time now.

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#194 Serious Gord
October 12 2013, 08:03PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

26 shots.

6 goals.

BUT THE CORSI, BUT THE CORSI!

I picture marlin Brando in apocalypse now gasping "the corsi ... The corsi..."

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#195 DCC
October 12 2013, 08:04PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Did you see the "braintrust" after the winning goal?

New goalie coming in soon as DSF says.....book it.

I think you have accidentally inserted an extra "t" in "braintrust".

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#196 steelymac
October 12 2013, 08:05PM
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DSF wrote:

I really need Willis to come by and tell me Dubnyk is an average NHL goaltender again.

.769

Good grief

Really DSF??? Do you really have to tell everyone how F@^*kin smart you are?Really???

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#197 NYR+EDM=TRADE
October 12 2013, 08:07PM
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Dallas system is fine, their trying to weed out the old B>S system from the other lazyass coaches that gave this team an excuse every night. Dubnyk has to go, you have to make a save in a key situation and 3 of them were save-able. He's 6'6 and plays like he's 6'0 is sad to see. I'm telling you guys now, wonder would NYR make a trade to lower there cap since Lunquisdt is having a bad start trade for dubs and something else to snag a D-man from NYR?

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#198 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:08PM
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DSF wrote:

All hat.

No cattle.

See ya Dallas.

Hey Mac-T you know what would be bold?Getting an actual NHL starter for your team.

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#199 Alsker
October 12 2013, 08:08PM
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Can you put a player on LTIR for being incapable of doing what he's paid to do?? It would free up lots of cap space.

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#200 washed up
October 12 2013, 08:09PM
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Belov looked pretty good tonight. His best game so far. Thought Petry looked good too.

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