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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#1 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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#2 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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#3 Dubs-nik
October 12 2013, 11:44AM
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About to give t.o one of the fist loses of the year, yak city!

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#4 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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#5 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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#6 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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#7 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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#8 DSF
October 12 2013, 10:53PM
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gord962 wrote:

No doubt results matter. You said they were outplayed. That isn't the truth. When your starting goalie can't keep the puck out of his net on routine saves it is not a matter of a coaching problem, effort or chances. This is strictly a goaltending problem we are witnessing. Go troll somewhere else.

You don't give up 5 goals against EVERY game by outplaying other teams.

The Oilers are a dreadful defensive team.

Take a look at Justin Schultz' performance in all 5 games.

He should be in the AHL.

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#9 Spydyr
October 12 2013, 12:18PM
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This is the what could of been game:

Dubnyk : .874 Sv% 5.27 GAA

Bernier :.974 Sv% .85 GAA

One of them is not like the other.

Now you can tell me about the small sample size.

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#10 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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#11 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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#12 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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#13 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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#14 DSF
October 12 2013, 10:17PM
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gord962 wrote:

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

5 GA/G

Worst in the NHL.

Results matter.

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#15 Rama Lama
October 12 2013, 12:22PM
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I hope that for the sake of the team Eakins stops with all the line tinkering and let's players get use to playing with their regular line mates.

Clearly this "SWARM" system ( or lack thereof) has not been understood by all the players and I suspect this will take time.......but for the love of god Dallas, stop putting our top offensive players out there to kill penalties. On any level having Hemsky and RNH killing penalties makes no sense. We have players who excel at this why not use that skill set appropriately?

So far I'm holding Eakins accountable for all the loses........mostly due to his retarded line combinations.

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#16 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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#17 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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#18 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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#19 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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#20 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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#21 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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#22 madjam
October 12 2013, 01:16PM
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Look at the rosters ! Bottom six no contest- Leafs far superior . Top six cancels one another out . Defence also no conteast-edge Leafs again . Better hope Leafs get caught underrating us , and maybe get lucky and steal this game .

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#23 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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#24 Walter Sobchak
October 12 2013, 10:05PM
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@Czar

Really, I seen a bad Leafs team out play and out chance the Oilers in the first, granted the Oilers had an outstanding second and not a bad third, but tell me who won again?

Wait till the trip is over, then tell me it's not a little of everything, including coaching & coaching decisions .

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#25 tileguy
October 12 2013, 11:52AM
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Jason, can you refresh our memory on the Sundin story?

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#26 DSF
October 12 2013, 01:46PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

And do you think they will collapse under the weight of that luck, or are you like Serious Gord, convinced by the power of small samples sizes and big men?

And are you convinced if a coin flip produces 10 straight heads that the next flip has to be a tail?

Last season, Pittsburgh outshot their opposition by only 0.8 S/G yet managed to win 36 games.

At the same time, NJ outshot their opposition by 5.3 S/G yet only managed 19 wins.

While I agree out shooting your opponent is generally a good idea, there is so much noise involved and so many other factors that are ignored, using shot metrics as a predictor is pretty weak unless you have the common sense to drill down and look at coaching strategy, goaltending quality and a host of other relevant factors.

Otherwise you end up looking like a fool.

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#27 Cold Hard Truth
October 12 2013, 10:25PM
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Don't look for MacTavish to remedy this team; he is part of the problem.

The fish rots from the head down. Maybe after this season, Katz will finally cut Lowe & co. loose.

We need to stop praising the Oilers and drop this 'rebuild' nonsense.

Things won't get better until then.

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

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#29 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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#30 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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#31 Garon
October 12 2013, 11:53AM
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I'm not judging you, Gregor, but I'm just kinda curious about this statement...

"Due to my job, I'm not a fan of the Oilers..."

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#32 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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#33 Walter Sobchak
October 12 2013, 05:23PM
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Eakins is trying to find a scape goat for repeated bad coaching decisions.

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#34 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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#35 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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#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 Harry
October 12 2013, 10:13PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

How much is anyone willing to give up to get Ryan Miller?

We have more than enough assets to get Miller. Gags, marincin or klef, 1st rnd pic. I dont care if we have to over pay. MAKE IT HAPPEN

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#44 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 12 2013, 12:20PM
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When's puck drop?

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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 Serious Gord
October 12 2013, 01:44PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

And do you think they will collapse under the weight of that luck, or are you like Serious Gord, convinced by the power of small samples sizes and big men?

I try to Reference the lack of sample size/early in season dynamic when discussing the body of evidence so far on a regular basis. I deal with stats every day at work. However the statistical inertia thusfar is not moving things in a positive direction for the oil.

These next ten games will either confirm or cast in doubt these early perceptions. That said fans are right in being concerned that the season could be a disastrous one: the weaknesses remain, the play thusfar confirms it, and the coaches thusfar have not demonstrated that they have found tactics to minimize them - to the contrary - thusfar they seem to have exacerbated them.

Fans who continue to disregard all of the above aren't doing the team any favours. Just ask cub fans how they have made out doing the same.

Avatar
#50 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 12 2013, 01:56PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

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.

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