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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#201 Oilcruzer
October 12 2013, 08:10PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

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.

I gave MacT a pass. Cant change it all in 4 months.

Where are all those people who were pissed about the attempt to land Schneider?

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#202 Tokenhill
October 12 2013, 08:11PM
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When gagner comes back...and when we insert THE Yak back into the line up...we are gonna have some pretty good forward DEPTH that we haven't enjoyed in quite a long time =)

That is...if acrobello and Joensuu and Smyth can play consistently well.

despite the loss. if we play like this every game. we will at least be COMPETING in NHL and not...used as a bunching bag

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#203 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:15PM
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Tokenhill wrote:

When gagner comes back...and when we insert THE Yak back into the line up...we are gonna have some pretty good forward DEPTH that we haven't enjoyed in quite a long time =)

That is...if acrobello and Joensuu and Smyth can play consistently well.

despite the loss. if we play like this every game. we will at least be COMPETING in NHL and not...used as a bunching bag

The team just told Acton he is staying.So when Gagner gets back Acrobello will be sent down.Unless there is another injury of course or they try Gagner on the wing,where he might be better suited.

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#204 2004Z06
October 12 2013, 08:15PM
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On a positive note...Gordon and Arcobello owned the dot.

How is Khubodin (sp) looking so far this year?

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#205 Serious Gord
October 12 2013, 08:16PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

I gave MacT a pass. Cant change it all in 4 months.

Where are all those people who were pissed about the attempt to land Schneider?

MacT was around for all of the disastrous signings that Lowe made. He also has the baggage of hemsky and gagner and not making better arrangements for goal, defense and centre. He most definitely is not free of blame.

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#206 DSF
October 12 2013, 08:16PM
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steelymac wrote:

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

Yes.

Thanks.

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#207 Serious Gord
October 12 2013, 08:18PM
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Tokenhill wrote:

When gagner comes back...and when we insert THE Yak back into the line up...we are gonna have some pretty good forward DEPTH that we haven't enjoyed in quite a long time =)

That is...if acrobello and Joensuu and Smyth can play consistently well.

despite the loss. if we play like this every game. we will at least be COMPETING in NHL and not...used as a bunching bag

And we should have traded some of that depth to address some of the other weaknesses.

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#208 bwar
October 12 2013, 08:18PM
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Hard to be in Dudnyk's corner after that performance.

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#209 bwar
October 12 2013, 08:19PM
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Tokenhill wrote:

When gagner comes back...and when we insert THE Yak back into the line up...we are gonna have some pretty good forward DEPTH that we haven't enjoyed in quite a long time =)

That is...if acrobello and Joensuu and Smyth can play consistently well.

despite the loss. if we play like this every game. we will at least be COMPETING in NHL and not...used as a bunching bag

yeah Gags and Yak on the fourth line with Acton.

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#210 oilman3
October 12 2013, 08:19PM
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i can't believe people are trashing eakins. we are outshooting and outplaying the opposition and the work ethic is clearly getting better already. tonight was definitely the clincher for me on dubnyk though. the oilers were clearly the better team and yet dubnyk finds a way to get us another loss. that being said, i don't know what the solution is. people ragging on mact clearly haven't paid attention to the efforts he made to get a number one goalie. if he would have given up the laughable asking price for schneider i would have lost my mind. i really wish they could have gotten anderson here when they ended up signing khabibulin but i really don't know what the best option is right now. after tonight i can say i would love to never see dubnyk play for us again but we need someone who can take his job.

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#211 Oilersfan4
October 12 2013, 08:20PM
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NYR+EDM=TRADE wrote:

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?

Tell me what's fine about Dallas Eakins system, cause so far it looks pretty brutal. S$@T Ralph Krueger system looks better. Starting to think Dallas Eakins is the next George Burnett.

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#212 Alsker
October 12 2013, 08:20PM
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Tokenhill wrote:

When gagner comes back...and when we insert THE Yak back into the line up...we are gonna have some pretty good forward DEPTH that we haven't enjoyed in quite a long time =)

That is...if acrobello and Joensuu and Smyth can play consistently well.

despite the loss. if we play like this every game. we will at least be COMPETING in NHL and not...used as a bunching bag

Granted, and your optimism is welcomed BUT ELPH was a couple of years ago, its time to see his team stand tall on stair #1 not tread water all season. Dont get me wrong, I admire the effort and how close this was to a victory, but it was still a loss. Its time that losses are no longer acceptable providing we were competetive. We must move forward, NOW!!!

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#213 Knucky
October 12 2013, 08:20PM
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What is it going to take Mact? Your team will have to score 10 goals a game to have any chance to win. By the way Dubnyk sucks ,just in case you haven't noticed.

You and Lowe need to suit up and get done what you failed to all summer long.

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#214 Czar
October 12 2013, 08:20PM
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DSF wrote:

Yes.

Thanks.

Dumba had a good night. Rebels will miss him if he sticks.

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#215 2004Z06
October 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The team just told Acton he is staying.So when Gagner gets back Acrobello will be sent down.Unless there is another injury of course or they try Gagner on the wing,where he might be better suited.

Makes sense. He is only over 60% in the dot, highest +/- on the team and has 5 pts in 5 games.

Oh....and he hits.

Makes perfect sense.

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#216 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:21PM
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bwar wrote:

Hard to be in Dudnyk's corner after that performance.

Perhaps one or two of the Dubnyk supporters who write for this site will admit to the error of their ways and post a "I was wrong my bad article."

Nah, it is a small sample size right?

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#217 Serious Gord
October 12 2013, 08:22PM
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If Nashville holds on and wins tonight the oil are dead last in the west.

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#218 jonny94
October 12 2013, 08:22PM
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I' hope MacT addresses this now. He didn't have faith in Dubnyk before the season started and Dubnyk has done nothing to earn it now.

How are we ever going to win a game if it's expected from our forwards to score 5 goals a game? Unsustainable.

If were trusting in MacT I hope he keeps trying to find a goalie.

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#219 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:25PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Makes sense. He is only over 60% in the dot, highest +/- on the team and has 5 pts in 5 games.

Oh....and he hits.

Makes perfect sense.

They can only play four centres .Please enlighten me with your four.

Mine are:

1)RNH

2)Gagner

3)Gordon

4)As the team stated today Acton.

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#220 2004Z06
October 12 2013, 08:25PM
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Knucky wrote:

What is it going to take Mact? Your team will have to score 10 goals a game to have any chance to win. By the way Dubnyk sucks ,just in case you haven't noticed.

You and Lowe need to suit up and get done what you failed to all summer long.

Apparently you didn't notice him trying to land Schneider and Bernier and that European goalie over the summer.

He knows!

Elite goalies don't grow on trees. Can't trade for one if no one is willing to trade.

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#221 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:26PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If Nashville holds on and wins tonight the oil are dead last in the west.

Groundhog day.

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#222 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:28PM
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Price is looking good.Like an NHL starter.

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#223 Alsker
October 12 2013, 08:30PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If Nashville holds on and wins tonight the oil are dead last in the west.

True but Klowe has more rings than anyone else in hockey today!!! So there!!! Man it is so time for a change, just like the guys who think they can play til they're 40, someone has to tell him its time...Hello Mr.Katz?

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#224 Oilersfan4
October 12 2013, 08:31PM
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Oilers next coach Craig MacTavish

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#225 2004Z06
October 12 2013, 08:31PM
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Spydyr wrote:

They can only play four centres .Please enlighten me with your four.

Mine are:

1)RNH

2)Gagner

3)Gordon

4)As the team stated today Acton.

Simple. Gagner is not a center. Trash away......Besides you are going to need Gagner on the wing when you HAVE to trade Yak or Eberle to get a damn goalie!

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#226 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:33PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Simple. Gagner is not a center. Trash away......Besides you are going to need Gagner on the wing when you HAVE to trade Yak or Eberle to get a damn goalie!

I would trade Gagner 100 times before trading Yak or Ebs.

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#227 Rama Lama
October 12 2013, 08:33PM
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If we can just score an additional 3 to 4 goals per Dubby can keep us in each game.

I'm have absolutely no confidence that our current goaltending situation can steal any games for us at best........and keep us in the games at least. How disappointing this must be for the players?

Between Eakins swarm system ( or as i call it everyone chase the puck around like you are 5 years old) and goaltending this will be a long season.

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#228 Slats
October 12 2013, 08:33PM
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Missed most of the game but so the end of the game high/lowlights to see 3 goals go in that were just layered for the middle of the net. For all you posters out there you don't need a #1 to make those saves sorry . . . .

Maybe Mac T can work a trade for that young kid called Shooter Tutor?

In Labarbara we Trust from here on in!

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#229 Slats
October 12 2013, 08:33PM
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Missed most of the game but so the end of the game high/lowlights to see 3 goals go in that were just layered for the middle of the net. For all you posters out there you don't need a #1 to make those saves sorry . . . .

Maybe Mac T can work a trade for that young kid called Shooter Tutor?

In Labarbara we Trust from here on in!

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#230 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:34PM
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Oilersfan4 wrote:

Oilers next coach Craig MacTavish

Slats version 2.0

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#231 Sean17
October 12 2013, 08:35PM
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Suck it Willis.... don't bother posting another stats analysis of Dubynk. Google The Gambler's Fallacy philosophy.

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#232 Serious Gord
October 12 2013, 08:35PM
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Before we take too much good out of this game - and I think its fair to say that this was their best effort so far - the leafs played awful tonight - maybe their worst game of the year: no hitting, weak defense and Bernier was awful for most of it. I was very surprised they didn't pound our D. That said the leafs were much better maintaining possession in the offense zone than the oil - though that isn't saying much.

Presumably dubnyk is not in net next game - grim.

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#233 Bjm
October 12 2013, 08:36PM
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This is going to be a bad road trip. My arthritic hips tell me so.

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#234 2004Z06
October 12 2013, 08:36PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I would trade Gagner 100 times before trading Yak or Ebs.

I agree completely but Gagner is not going to get you an elite goalie in return.

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#235 Slats
October 12 2013, 08:36PM
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@Spydyr

Budaj looks great on the bench too . . .i bet he is golden on those middle of the net tricky ones . . . .

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#236 Trolololo
October 12 2013, 08:36PM
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Looks familiar doesn't it? COLORADO C 5 5 0 0 10 5 18 4 +14 2-0-0 3-0-0 - 5-0-0 WON 5 2 SAN JOSE P 4 4 0 0 8 4 21 5 +16 3-0-0 1-0-0 - 4-0-0 WON 4 3 CALGARY P 5 3 0 2 8 3 18 17 +1 2-0-1 1-0-1 0-1 3-0-2 WON 2 4 ST. LOUIS C 3 3 0 0 6 3 14 4 +10 3-0-0 0-0-0 - 3-0-0 WON 3 5 ANAHEIM P 4 3 1 0 6 3 14 11 +3 1-0-0 2-1-0 - 3-1-0 WON 3 6 VANCOUVER P 5 3 2 0 6 3 16 16 E 2-1-0 1-1-0 - 3-2-0 LOST 1 7 PHOENIX P 5 3 2 0 6 3 12 14 -2 1-0-0 2-2-0 - 3-2-0 WON 2 8 LOS ANGELES P 5 3 2 0 6 1 13 14 -1 1-1-0 2-1-0 2-0 3-2-0 WON 2 9 CHICAGO C 4 2 1 1 5 2 13 12 +1 2-0-1 0-1-0 0-1 2-1-1 WON 1 10 DALLAS C 3 2 1 0 4 2 8 6 +2 1-1-0 1-0-0 - 2-1-0 WON 2 11 MINNESOTA C 4 1 1 2 4 1 9 11 -2 1-0-2 0-1-0 0-1 1-1-2 WON 1 12 WINNIPEG C 5 2 3 0 4 2 14 16 -2 1-2-0 1-1-0 - 2-3-0 LOST 3 13 EDMONTON P 5 1 3 1 3 0 17 25 -8 1-2-0 0-1-1 1-0 1-3-1 OT 1 14 NASHVILLE C 4 1 3 0 2 1 6 13 -7 1-1-0 0-2-0 - 1-3-0 LOST

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#237 DCC
October 12 2013, 08:37PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If Nashville holds on and wins tonight the oil are dead last in the west.

Dead last is the Oiler's comfort zone.

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#238 Czar
October 12 2013, 08:39PM
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DSF wrote:

All hat.

No cattle.

See ya Dallas.

You can't blame Dallas, Doobie left the gate open.

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#239 Alsker
October 12 2013, 08:39PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Perhaps one or two of the Dubnyk supporters who write for this site will admit to the error of their ways and post a "I was wrong my bad article."

Nah, it is a small sample size right?

Fine, I was a Dubby supporter for more than a year now and YES I admit I obviously know nothing about goalies. Well almost nothing, I supported DD vs JDD, Fuhr vs Moog, but I could in no way have expected him to react to the new padding(my excuse anyway) the way he has. Talk about de-evolving, not many netminders have returned the same season that the meltdown happened. Heres to seeing you next season Dubby.

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#240 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:42PM
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Alsker wrote:

Fine, I was a Dubby supporter for more than a year now and YES I admit I obviously know nothing about goalies. Well almost nothing, I supported DD vs JDD, Fuhr vs Moog, but I could in no way have expected him to react to the new padding(my excuse anyway) the way he has. Talk about de-evolving, not many netminders have returned the same season that the meltdown happened. Heres to seeing you next season Dubby.

It takes a big man to admit the error of his ways .Good on you.Wiser's slow clap.

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#241 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
October 12 2013, 08:48PM
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I missed the game tonight....did we win?.....How did Dubey play?

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#242 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
October 12 2013, 08:51PM
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I guess we'll find out just how impatient MacT really is?

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#243 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
October 12 2013, 08:52PM
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How much is anyone willing to give up to get Ryan Miller?

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#244 Alsker
October 12 2013, 08:52PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I missed the game tonight....did we win?.....How did Dubey play?

You missed an entertaining goal filled spectacle. As per norm though Dubby was doing his best Conklin impersonation, better maybe, 3 uglies and we lose in overtime. Forwards played well, the D, ok, we deserved better tonight, but oh well.

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#245 madjam
October 12 2013, 08:53PM
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Optimism grows from winning . Confidence also follows that . We have little of either once again . Coaching not helping any so far , and Dubbie actually outplayed Bernier tonite . He was not good but Bernier was worse . How many empty nets did we miss gain tonite -plenty . Fun river hockey game to watch , but we are still on losing end . The coaching think they are running a nursery benching so many veterans this early into season - give them a break . Joensuu minus 2 , did you really think Yak would be worse ? This is the NHL , not the AHL afterall .

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#246 Oilersfan4
October 12 2013, 08:53PM
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I give up on the Oilers. Is it to late to become a Flames fan. At lease their rebuild lasted a year. OMG it think I'm going crazy I need help

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#247 Rod from Viking
October 12 2013, 08:53PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I missed the game tonight....did we win?.....How did Dubey play?

We deserved to, Dubey had a shut out for 3 minutes.

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#248 Alsker
October 12 2013, 08:56PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

We deserved to, Dubey had a shut out for 3 minutes.

Best line of the nite, thank you!!!!!

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#249 bulldog12
October 12 2013, 08:57PM
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That lose is totally on Eakins Why is Hemsky and Hall out in the last minute and why wasn't Gordon or Acrobello taking the face off BRUTAL I hope he figures it out soon

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#250 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 08:58PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I agree completely but Gagner is not going to get you an elite goalie in return.

If it was my job to find a goalie at this point in the season I would look at teams with two good goalies.There are a few out there and try to trade for their second choice in net.A younger goalie with some possible upside.It would cost to much to get the elite goalie at this point in the season.For more then a year now I have been saying the team needs a good young goalie to push Dubnyk.When they brought in LaBarbera it was disappointing.

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