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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#51 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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#52 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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#53 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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#54 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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#55 Walter Sobchak
October 12 2013, 09:21PM
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Soooooo, what Millar up to in a Buffalo?

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#56 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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#57 tileguy
October 12 2013, 11:49AM
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Imagine losing on HNIC, in front of the whole country, even the rock mountains won't be big enough to hide under. Hope the fact that it's the Leafs we are playing fires up the boys. 6-1 Edmonton.

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#58 Bucknuck
October 12 2013, 12:10PM
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Bring it Oil!

I find Canucks fans obnoxious in the extreme, but the only fans that top them are Leafs fans. They have never heard of the word humility. It's like the "centre of the Universe" disease has infested the franchise. They disgust me.

So the Oilers better score some darn goals!

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#60 DSF
October 12 2013, 02:10PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I know this is weird, but I kinda missed DSF. Where you been man, there's been a plethora of opportunities for you to bash the Oil the last week or two.

Oh, I've been around.

Not much interest in pouring salt in the wounds.

Tonight's game is pretty much a "must win" considering the road trip from hell, that is on the way.

Odd to say that only 5 games into a season but the Oilers could be pretty much out of playoff contention by the end of October.

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#61 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 06:34PM
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DCC wrote:

The entire CBC crew are wearing them too.

The CBC crew never takes theirs off.I think the TSN crew owns some too.

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#62 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:20PM
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Hey Dubnyk there is a game going on around you wake the f up.

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

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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 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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#69 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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#70 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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#71 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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#72 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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#73 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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#74 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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#75 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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#76 Craig1981
October 12 2013, 12:06PM
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Dear God, when is wished upon a star, this spring, for the Rickey Romero to have an ERA the same as Dubnyk's GAA, this isn't what I meant......

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#77 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 12 2013, 05:25PM
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Put Yak with Hall and Nuge, don't scratch the kid.

Can I get a good grief?

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#78 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 05:33PM
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F-ing Dubbie.

Staring goalie my butt.

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

#DubnyktoECHL

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#80 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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#81 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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#82 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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#83 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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#84 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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#85 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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#86 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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#87 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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#88 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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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#92 tileguy
October 12 2013, 12:01PM
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Doesn't the Toronto Sports Network sign your cheques now?

" but there are certain games where my inner-Edmontonian appears and I watch the game hoping the opposition sucks the hind banana"

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#93 Alsker
October 12 2013, 05:35PM
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Spydyr wrote:

F-ing Dubbie.

Staring goalie my butt.

Down on one knee b4 the shot again. I just dont get it.

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#94 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 05:36PM
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The did the wrong healthy scratch.Dubbie is to blame for 3X the goals Yak is this year.

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#95 DCC
October 12 2013, 06:31PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

If you look at the Refs real close you can just make out the tops of their one piece leaf onesies.

The entire CBC crew are wearing them too.

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#96 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 07:25PM
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Ebs again.The kid is on fire.Smythy going to the net like old times.Three goals in two games.Good on him.

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#97 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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#98 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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#99 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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#100 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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