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 

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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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#251 spliff
October 12 2013, 08:58PM
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Thats two games we should have won, yet found a way to lose. Good teams win these types of games, and bad teams lose them. Therefore, after all the time rebuilding, we are still a bad team. If we squeak into playoffs it will be a miracle. Management has no excuses this far along into the rebuild. Brutal. On a good note, this loss didn't piss me off as much as the other ones. Maybe I'm finally starting to tune-out, and this sh*tshow of a franchise won't bother me as much as it has the past few years. How long do the "braintrust" expect fans, even in hockey loving E-Town, to care?

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#252 Clarko
October 12 2013, 09:00PM
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I'm not nearly as ready a some to give up on this season yet. The Oilers have 3 points in 5 games and while that isn't nearly good enough, it isn't a complete disaster yet.

They outplayed the Leafs tonight and probably deserved to win...easily their best game 5-on-5. Dubnyk has to be much better, but unlike most commenters, I'm not ready to give up on him after 3 bad games. He played very well last year and hopefully he returns to form.

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#253 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 09:00PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

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

Yeah he sat the wrong player,Dubnyk should have been eating popcorn.

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#254 gord962
October 12 2013, 09:01PM
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jonny94 wrote:

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.

Scoring 5 goals did nothing tonight. They need to score 10 to have a chance for Dubnyk not to blow it.

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#255 Geoff
October 12 2013, 09:04PM
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Henrik Lundqvist is in the same boat Dubnyk is funnily enough lol. I think it put a lot into perspective concerning team defense.

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#256 MessyEH!
October 12 2013, 09:04PM
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Time to panic men. I encourage mayhem and ridiculous trade suggestions.

Has Rick Dipeitro been skating?

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#257 Slats
October 12 2013, 09:05PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

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

Wasn't it icing so no line change?

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#258 gord962
October 12 2013, 09:05PM
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Eakins system hasn't been the problem. The Oilers outshot, outchanced and outplayed the opposition again tonight. The fact that Dubnyk has not made 1 key save yet this year is why the Oilers can't win.

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#259 Jerod
October 12 2013, 09:08PM
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No confidence in your Goalie kills the team.

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#260 MessyEH!
October 12 2013, 09:09PM
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I stated other day.

If Eakins is holding people accountable

Dubnyk should sit the next game,

In the press box..

In OKC

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#261 Bloodsweatandoil
October 12 2013, 09:09PM
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Dubnyk should have been pulled after the Kadri goal from the corner. Who is kidding who here? For every goal Dubnyk lets in during the game, the team has to score two to counter it! He is now draining his team mates, worse than before, the Oilers had the game won three times tonight!

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#262 Czar
October 12 2013, 09:10PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

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

What was BRUTAL was Dubnyk not freezing the puck to get Gordon on the ice with less than a minute to play. Eakins had the leafs playing Oiler hockey most if the night, coaching wasn't the problem.

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#263 2004Z06
October 12 2013, 09:12PM
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Spydyr wrote:

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.

I get your point, but this team cannot take on another unproven commodity. It is time they went after an elite goalie.

This team will not improve until there is a goalie behind them that can give them the confidence that every little mistake is not going to end up in the back of their net.

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#264 Quicksilver ballet
October 12 2013, 09:13PM
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Hard to have any sympathy for Eakins when he keeps shooting himself in the foot. Every little mistake is magnified when your goaltender can't stop a beach ball.

Keep passing that career backup off as a starter there Dallas. Putting Nail in the press box was certainly the solution tonight......Yak, you have our permission to kill our rookie coach now. The sooner the better.

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#265 Keyser Soze
October 12 2013, 09:14PM
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As an Edmontonian living in Calgary for the last 20 years, I really thought I'd have the hammer this year. Thanks to Dubnyk letting in softies my grandma could stop and a compete level often less than the Shames it's going to be another long, long, long year. #IveHadEnough

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#266 Clarko
October 12 2013, 09:15PM
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Czar wrote:

What was BRUTAL was Dubnyk not freezing the puck to get Gordon on the ice with less than a minute to play. Eakins had the leafs playing Oiler hockey most if the night, coaching wasn't the problem.

Why would he freeze the puck? Gordon gives you a 60-70% chance to get possession. Dubnyk playing it to Hemsky gives you a 100% chance of getting the possession. You can blame a lot of Dubnyk tonight, but blaming him when the team had TWO chances to get the puck out after he played it is just piling on.

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#267 gord962
October 12 2013, 09:18PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Hard to have any sympathy for Eakins when he keeps shooting himself in the foot. Every little mistake is magnified when your goaltender can't stop a beach ball.

Keep passing that career backup off as a starter there Dallas. Putting Nail in the press box was certainly the solution tonight......Yak, you have our permission to kill our rookie coach now. The sooner the better.

And who should he put in?!?!? There is no capable NHL starter in the Oilers system. Not having a NHL starting goaltender is not Eakins' fault - he doesn't sign contracts. He is just the one who has to figure out how to score 6 goals a game to make up for MacT not being able to find one while not getting raped in a trade.

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#268 Walter Sobchak
October 12 2013, 09:21PM
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Soooooo, what Millar up to in a Buffalo?

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#269 John
October 12 2013, 09:23PM
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It was crazy to sit Yaks! He's leading the team in chances during even strength minutes (4.8 chances/15 ES minutes) Maybe Eakins should be in the press box for the next game!

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#270 Alsker
October 12 2013, 09:24PM
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Keyser Soze wrote:

As an Edmontonian living in Calgary for the last 20 years, I really thought I'd have the hammer this year. Thanks to Dubnyk letting in softies my grandma could stop and a compete level often less than the Shames it's going to be another long, long, long year. #IveHadEnough

First off, my deepest condolences for being trapped in the city of cows. As for this season it will be a lot closer come Mar/Apr than it appears now. Though granted that's still a win/win for the fLames.

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#271 Walter Sobchak
October 12 2013, 09:24PM
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Czar wrote:

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

Eakins system is flawed! He's definitely part of the problem.

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#272 NYR+EDM=TRADE
October 12 2013, 09:27PM
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Eakins isn't doing anything wrong as coach the guy wants to win and trying to motivate his team to get there. After tonight, it looks like its slowly coming but a few blunders on Defense cannot go un-seen. Dubnyk isn't the answer, you can't let 3 of those goals go in if you wantto be a #1 goalie in this league. Trade with either Buffalo or NYR would be a smart move on Edmontons part and also trying to get a solid Dman who can hit and block shots and doesn't wander to leave people open.

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#273 Czar
October 12 2013, 09:30PM
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Clarko wrote:

Why would he freeze the puck? Gordon gives you a 60-70% chance to get possession. Dubnyk playing it to Hemsky gives you a 100% chance of getting the possession. You can blame a lot of Dubnyk tonight, but blaming him when the team had TWO chances to get the puck out after he played it is just piling on.

The Leafs had pressure so Doobie should have froze it to slow things down and get the guys you want out in the last minute of play. Leafs scored right after so I think it's pretty obvious Doobie made the wrong play.

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#274 Quicksilver ballet
October 12 2013, 09:30PM
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@gord962

Jose Theodore?

Maybe we could send one of the healthy scratches from the press box tonight, to Philly for Couturier, Rinaldo and Emery. Holmgren has to be getting anxious to do something now that he's sitting right next to the Oilers in the standings.

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#275 EP
October 12 2013, 09:31PM
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Unfortunately our goaltending situation leaves MacT dealing from a position of weakness. Teams willing to trade a goalie that might help us, can name their price. I'm not a huge Bryzgalov fan, but if we can get him on a one year deal, he'll only cost us a roster spot and $$$. We then look to next summer to make a deal for a goalie. Can Bryzgalov really be any worse than what we have now?

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#276 Walter Sobchak
October 12 2013, 09:32PM
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Rob Brown from the Oilers after party show just mocked a caller,

" you can't trade for a number one goalie! And definitely not for a first round pick"

Sooooo Brownie, explain the goalie you just watched the new NJD goalie! I swear anyone employed with the Oilers have half brains!

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#277 Walter Sobchak
October 12 2013, 09:33PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Jose Theodore?

Maybe we could send one of the healthy scratches from the press box tonight, to Philly for Couturier, Rinaldo and Emery. Holmgren has to be getting anxious to do something now that he's sitting right next to the Oilers in the standings.

Might as well go for Millar! Trade and sign. Give them a 1st and Smid.

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#278 dawgtoy
October 12 2013, 09:33PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Eakins at worst should be 3-2. The system is working, the keeper is a sieve.

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#279 james_dean
October 12 2013, 09:33PM
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Sean17 wrote:

Suck it Willis.... don't bother posting another stats analysis of Dubynk. Google The Gambler's Fallacy philosophy.

You are a real greasy animal

I doubt you woudnt be scared of bear in woods

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#280 Oiler Al
October 12 2013, 09:34PM
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Big mistake on Eakins part having the Nuge face off in OT. The kid was tired, obvious he got knocked down after loosing the F/O.You have three other center that were at 70% in the circle and he sends RNH at 37%... terrible call by Eakins.

However, this was perhaps Oilers best game in this season. Great to see secondary scoring as well...

Both goalies sucked,, but Dubby sucked worse.I hope the goalie coach in on this road trip.. much needed.

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#281 Czar
October 12 2013, 09:35PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Eakins system is flawed! He's definitely part of the problem.

Doobie does his job and the system isn't an issue.Did you watch the game tonight? If it wasn't for one hole in the line up we win tonight.

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#282 Clarko
October 12 2013, 09:37PM
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Czar wrote:

The Leafs had pressure so Doobie should have froze it to slow things down and get the guys you want out in the last minute of play. Leafs scored right after so I think it's pretty obvious Doobie made the wrong play.

And if he freezes the puck and the Leafs score off the draw, I'm sure you would have blamed him for that too...

I'm in agreement that Dubnyk was at fault tonight for the loss, but blaming him when two different Oilers gave the puck away is ridiculous. To me, his thinking there was I can keep the clock running, give the puck to one of my players who has clear possession and NOT get the Leafs a chance to set things up off a faceoff. A faceoff gives the Leafs an opportunity get setup.

No, it didn't work out, but the right decision doesn't always result in perfect results.

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#283 Oiler63
October 12 2013, 09:39PM
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The best time to address goalie problem has passed.. Now teams know oilers desperately need a goalie they will ask a hefty price... oilers are stuck between a rock and a very hard place.

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#284 gord962
October 12 2013, 09:39PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Jose Theodore?

Maybe we could send one of the healthy scratches from the press box tonight, to Philly for Couturier, Rinaldo and Emery. Holmgren has to be getting anxious to do something now that he's sitting right next to the Oilers in the standings.

Theodore? I wouldn't sign him as a back up.

Emery isn't a number 1. He would be a solid back up and would solve this issue short term but doesn't solve anything next year or 35 games from now, for that matter.

This is still nothing Eakins can do - still not sure how Dallas is at fault?

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#285 DrunkGuyTy
October 12 2013, 09:40PM
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Oilersnation my a$$. What a bunch of f-in bandwagoners! The vast majority of you guys are f-in pathetic fans. I'm not happyat all with how things are going either but talk about throwing people under the bus. I'm sure glad I don't have to worry about anyone on this site having my back. We are 6% of the way through the season and you've written off Smytty (but not today - way to jump back on board),Hemmer,Shultz II, Shultz I, Yak, Hall, Ebs, Eakins, Mac-T, Lowe, Dubnyk and Labarbara. That's 45% of the team and 75% of management.

Slow golf clap for all you drama queens that try to disguise yourself as "fans". Listen to yourselves, you're f-in embarassing. Canucks fans aren't even this bad.

Sometimes the worst part of being an Oilers fan are the Oilers 'fans'!

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#286 Czar
October 12 2013, 09:44PM
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Clarko wrote:

And if he freezes the puck and the Leafs score off the draw, I'm sure you would have blamed him for that too...

I'm in agreement that Dubnyk was at fault tonight for the loss, but blaming him when two different Oilers gave the puck away is ridiculous. To me, his thinking there was I can keep the clock running, give the puck to one of my players who has clear possession and NOT get the Leafs a chance to set things up off a faceoff. A faceoff gives the Leafs an opportunity get setup.

No, it didn't work out, but the right decision doesn't always result in perfect results.

IF the leafs win the draw, and IF they did score I probably would have blamed Doobie because he couldn't stop a beach ball tonight.

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#287 Quicksilver ballet
October 12 2013, 09:45PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Might as well go for Millar! Trade and sign. Give them a 1st and Smid.

That pick looks like a top 5 again. MacTavish gave it his best effort to upgrade all summer. Might as well ride this ship show out and go after next summers hired guns.

Miller would just be a rental. I'm a little gun shy about surrendering to possible top 5 pick for a short term solution.

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#288 Czar
October 12 2013, 09:45PM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

Oilersnation my a$$. What a bunch of f-in bandwagoners! The vast majority of you guys are f-in pathetic fans. I'm not happyat all with how things are going either but talk about throwing people under the bus. I'm sure glad I don't have to worry about anyone on this site having my back. We are 6% of the way through the season and you've written off Smytty (but not today - way to jump back on board),Hemmer,Shultz II, Shultz I, Yak, Hall, Ebs, Eakins, Mac-T, Lowe, Dubnyk and Labarbara. That's 45% of the team and 75% of management.

Slow golf clap for all you drama queens that try to disguise yourself as "fans". Listen to yourselves, you're f-in embarassing. Canucks fans aren't even this bad.

Sometimes the worst part of being an Oilers fan are the Oilers 'fans'!

Have a drink.

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#289 Jakethesnakesnake
October 12 2013, 09:48PM
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We need mike Morrison back. He's better then this garbage goalie. Another loose thanks to the goalie

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#290 DrunkGuyTy
October 12 2013, 09:48PM
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Czar wrote:

Have a drink.

That is soooo funny.

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#291 Czar
October 12 2013, 09:51PM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

That is soooo funny.

Another Doobie?

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#292 Keyser Soze
October 12 2013, 09:51PM
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@Alsker

Married a pretty Calgarian.... there are a few.

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#293 Harry
October 12 2013, 09:53PM
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Shifty203 wrote:

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.

Not sure what game you watching. If DD does his job we win 5-2.

And not just this game. He was awful against WPG and bad vs Van

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#294 Alsker
October 12 2013, 09:56PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

That pick looks like a top 5 again. MacTavish gave it his best effort to upgrade all summer. Might as well ride this ship show out and go after next summers hired guns.

Miller would just be a rental. I'm a little gun shy about surrendering to possible top 5 pick for a short term solution.

Enough is enough, another top 5 pick doesnt help our goaltending situation nor does Miller(IMO) if we must move our 1st than so be it. We gave up a first for Rollie and see where that got us, Bold move, give up next years first and a roster spot if necessary top solve this years problems. But identify and address ALL our problems. Wether from within or by trade, just do it!!!!!

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#295 DrunkGuyTy
October 12 2013, 09:56PM
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@Czar

Whatever it takes.

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#296 DSF
October 12 2013, 09:57PM
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Czar wrote:

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

Sure I can.

The Oilers have been outplayed in 4 of 5 games.

And, it's just about to get harder.

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#297 Alsker
October 12 2013, 09:59PM
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Keyser Soze wrote:

Married a pretty Calgarian.... there are a few.

Congrats, and yes there are more than a few, was born and raised to loathe Cowtown. Been more than half a century now, hard to break old habits.

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#298 gord962
October 12 2013, 10:00PM
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DSF wrote:

Sure I can.

The Oilers have been outplayed in 4 of 5 games.

And, it's just about to get harder.

Outplayed? Not even close. Dubnyk has been brutal so far. The Oilers are outshooting, outchancing and outplaying the opposition so far this year.

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#299 Quicksilver ballet
October 12 2013, 10:02PM
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@Alsker

Well, like Wes mentioned, if he signed an extension it might be worth while. Not so sure he's willing to come out west or forego his UFA opportunity.

What would it cost to get that Gibson kid out of Anaheim, maybe something could be done with the Ducks for a goolie.

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#300 Kevin
October 12 2013, 10:04PM
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with another lottery pick up coming the OIL will have some serious CAP issues. Lowe and Mac T are likely strategizing on a $40 million long term deal for Yak.

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