THIS AND THAT: DUBNYK AND A PEST ALERT

Robin Brownlee
October 19 2013 03:46PM

Devan Dubnyk has taken a lot of bowel movement from fans of the Edmonton Oilers this season, and with good reason, so it's only fair to point out he was very good in a much-needed 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators today.

His early-season struggles duly documented, lamented and, in many cases blown out of proportion, Dubnyk turned aside 35 of the 36 shots he faced against the Senators, allowing only a bunt single by Ottawa tough guy Chris Neil in a scramble at the side of the net to find the twine as the Oilers won their first road game this season.

"It was a big game for us and we knew that coming in," said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who had two goals and an assist. "Doobie stood on his head for us, so it's always nice. We got a win for him, so it was a big game. We needed those points and we got them."

It goes without saying, or should, that Dubnyk's performance against the Senators doesn't guarantee he has regained his mojo – just as his difficult start didn’t mean he should go looking for a job selling insurance -- but it's a start. One the Oilers desperately needed.

If Dubnyk can come up with an encore against the Montreal Canadiens to end the road trip Tuesday, the Oilers can salvage a swing that had disaster written all over it going into Ottawa.

THAT %$&# PERRON

David Perron didn't manage a point against Ottawa, but he was in the middle of the action the entire game and was a royal pain in the backside for the Senators between whistles and after them. When's the last time fans could say that about any of the Oilers players?

Perron ran over goaltender Robin Lehner early in the game, drawing a crowd intent on taking a poke at him. He did likewise later on, providing Lehner a refreshing shower of snow in the crease. He also tried to coax Norris Trophy defenseman Erik Karlsson into a penalty with the tried-and-true stinky glove treatment.

Having a gritty, in-your-face player on the third or fourth line is one thing. Having an agitator skilled enough to play top-six minutes while getting under the skin of opponents is quite another, and it's something the Oilers have been lacking for a long, long time.

THE WAY I SEE IT . . .

. . . Brutal luck for the Oilers to lose Taylor Hall with a left knee injury on a hit by Eric Gryba, but from the replays I saw, I couldn't find any evidence of an attempt by Gryba to stick out his knee on the Edmonton forward.

There's no doubt the contact with Hall was knee-on-knee, but I neither saw Gryba widen his stance to get a piece of Hall or drag his leg in any manner as to clip him. Many Oilers fans, as is to be expected, disagreed with me on Twitter today, saying Gryba had "led" with his knee. I'm not sure what that means, exactly, but I think that suggestion is a reach.

"I know it's his knee, but I don't know the severity of it," coach Dallas Eakins said during a post-game interview. It seems unlikely, as of now, Hall will play against the Canadiens.

. . . Mercy, the power play is struggling. The Oilers went 0-for-5, including two full minutes of a 5-on-3 advantage that generated just one shot. I'd hope Eakins will get back to the drawing board on this because what he's been drawing up isn’t remotely close to working.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Ambassador humantorch
October 19 2013, 04:03PM
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Sure is a good thing we've got Gadzic and Brown on the bench (and Macintyre on the IR) to keep hits like that Gryba one from happening.

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#2 Spydyr
October 19 2013, 04:10PM
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Jay Gray wrote:

Dubnyk was awesome, hopefully some fans will step away from the ledge and stop talking crazy talk.

Perron is doing the things this team needs to win. I love him already.

Hopefully Hall is only out a game or two. From the outside looking in, it didn't look all that bad.

I'm not sure how wanting to upgrade any position and that includes goal,especially goal, is crazy talk.Please explain?

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#3 nick
October 19 2013, 06:50PM
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I am so glad for Dubnyk, he is a good goalie and his game is coming around. Maybe now all the talk can change to what a stupid coach the Oilers have and not how bad the goaltending is. This little Hitler has no idea how to handle NHL guys, how do you sit Schultz for the give away machine Grebeshkov. That is a brutal decision as well as playing your best defensive defenseman Smid 14 minutes. Are you kidding me, this makes no sense. I am sure Schultz wants out of this circus now and Smid probably not far behind. The fact that Schultz sat is a slap in a veteran players face and Eakins has lost the respect of a lot of the players for that move. BRUTAL circus. This is without a doubt the worst organization in the game of hockey

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#4 Kevin
October 19 2013, 04:08PM
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Agree with everything RB says in the article. If a victory can be demoralizing this one was it. Two positives. First, Dubnyk.

Lots of negatives -- Oil look uninspired, so many stupid lazy plays, losing Hall to a knee injury, Perron and lots of others throwing pucks away right, left and center; powerplay absolutely TERRIBLE and not just the 5-3. What has Acton (the elder) done to it?; penalty was also very weak -- Dubnyk save their bacon.

Second positive? The OIlers actually saved their best game for when they really needed it -- after Neil's goal. I was really impressed with how they bore down and protected the lead when the game was on the line. I can only hope that this is a sign of the much lamented and yearned for 'character'.

Still -- the negatives outweigh the positives. For now at least.

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#5 JJ
October 19 2013, 04:52PM
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If Hall's out, who takes his place? I hope they give Omark those games. 3g - 3a in 6 games in the AHL after a slow start too.

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#6 Spydyr
October 19 2013, 04:12PM
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Ambassador humantorch wrote:

Sure is a good thing we've got Gadzic and Brown on the bench (and Macintyre on the IR) to keep hits like that Gryba one from happening.

Would of been nice if someone on the ice stepped up when one of your best players takes a knee on knee hit.Instead of making sure their skates were tied.

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#7 Spydyr
October 19 2013, 04:30PM
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Jay Gray wrote:

Teams have won cups with goaltending worse than we currently have. Sure, it's great to have Roy in net. But we have Dubnyk and when he's good, he's good. No sense freaking out and overpaying for someone who may, or may not be better than what we currently have.

The overpay is probably why Mac-T has not brought in another goalie.With the moves he tried to make this summer it sure looks like Mac-T wants an upgrade in goal.With Dubnyk being a UFA this summer I would be shocked to see him back next year.

The trade deadline might be the time to move him to a contender looking for a back up for the playoffs.Of course that would only happen if the Oilers were outside playoff contention.

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#8 2004Z06
October 20 2013, 09:33AM
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The Oilers will play better without Hall in the lineup. There is something up with this kid. Has to be a reason why not a single Oiler player comes to his aid....EVER!

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#9 Serious Gord
October 19 2013, 08:35PM
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"...looking for a job selling insurance".

As a meatball insurance salesman I represent that remark (beats fixing rock chips in windshields - pays better too..)

As for Dubnyks play- it was competent but he never really had to make anything spectacular. The Ottawa goalie on the other hand was spectacular on a few occasions.

The team itself made out like a thief in the night in getting a win. The sens outplayed them in every aspect except where it really counts - the scoresheet. Were they to play ten times the sens would win eight. God they finished checks - when was the last time we saw the oil do that?

Montreal should be interesting...

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#10 KozyMel
October 19 2013, 08:50PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

"...looking for a job selling insurance".

As a meatball insurance salesman I represent that remark (beats fixing rock chips in windshields - pays better too..)

As for Dubnyks play- it was competent but he never really had to make anything spectacular. The Ottawa goalie on the other hand was spectacular on a few occasions.

The team itself made out like a thief in the night in getting a win. The sens outplayed them in every aspect except where it really counts - the scoresheet. Were they to play ten times the sens would win eight. God they finished checks - when was the last time we saw the oil do that?

Montreal should be interesting...

"represent" the remark means you are like it, that you mirror it.

"resent" the remark means you find it offensive.

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#11 nunyour
October 20 2013, 01:32PM
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Hemsky needs to grow a pair,it's getting embarrassing watching teams use him as a punching bag

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#12 Spydyr
October 19 2013, 04:23PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

What happened? It was behind the play, no one noticed anything, and there was a penalty taken by Hall. Hard to beat some guys brains in for kneeing Hall when you don't know what happened.

If it was behind the play why was there no penalty for interference when he hit Hall?

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#13 Spydyr
October 20 2013, 10:04AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

The Oilers will play better without Hall in the lineup. There is something up with this kid. Has to be a reason why not a single Oiler player comes to his aid....EVER!

Yeah I have noticed that also.

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#14 flyricky
October 20 2013, 10:54AM
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We still need a goalie. How many games did Dubnyk steal for us down the stretch last year in a 48 game season? Perron played great yesterday even though he botched that 2 on 1 near the end. We need a Chris Neal. Get it done MacT. Get rid of one of our soft forward. MacT blew it on Clutterbuck.

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#15 Mikey
October 19 2013, 08:52PM
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Ambassador humantorch wrote:

Sure is a good thing we've got Gadzic and Brown on the bench (and Macintyre on the IR) to keep hits like that Gryba one from happening.

You are a gomer. So what you are saying is, no team should ever dare hit one of the oilers. Hahaha

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#16 Spydyr
October 19 2013, 05:24PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You're missing the point. Our man in Amsterdam, as he's reiterated I don't know how many times, doesn't believe having toughness in the line-up serves as any kind of deterrent to teams thinking of taking cheap shots.

Any time a player like Hall takes a big hit or gets hurt by a hit, as happened today, it's just more proof that having toughness in the line-up, on the roster or in the organization does nothing.

Problem is, as long as there's contact in hockey, there will be injuries. There was nothing over-the-top about the Gryba hit -- no charge, no stick, no headshot. The problem was the point of contact -- people can debate intent and will any time it's knee-on-knee. I don't know what Gryba was thinking, nobody does. What we do know is Hall is injured and that's bad news no matter how or why.

Hockey is a fast paced violent game injuries are going to happen no argument there.

That does not change the fact teammates should stand up for teammates . Hall took a clear knee on knee hit accidental or not as you mentioned only Gryba knows. The issue I have is not one of his teammates went over and gave Gryba so much as a face wash. Late in the period Yak took a run at Spezza and the scrum started.That's is what good teams do .Stand up for each other.

As for toughness does nothing .We can agree to disagree IMO teams are more then aware when a Semenko , Dave Brown or Bob Probert are on the other teams bench. Although it does not prevent all injuries it does keep some of the players more in line.Boogaard and Regehr used to run rough-shot over the Oilers because they could.

The Oilers have been the softest team in the NHL for years now and this old school fan hates that.

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#17 the dude abides
October 20 2013, 01:00AM
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You have to win first to have a good pp. 5v5 success precedes pp success for good teams.

nice to see the win today. Nuge is a beaut!

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#20 acg5151
October 19 2013, 08:03PM
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I feel like the Oilers are close - they basically have a good second pair in Smid Petry, a future #1 or, more likely! a #2 dman in Justin Schultz. Ference could be half of a good third pair. They just need a legitimate #1 LD-man like Ryan Suter. We'll see if Darnell Nurse becomes that.

As far as the forward group goes, I like the top 3 lines. If the Oil had a 4th line that could play 9 minutes a night, that would take a lot of pressure off the top lines.

Ultimately I think this is a better team than their record indicates - they just need a Jason Labarbera to win some games when Devan Dubnyk needs a night off. Dubnyk is a lot better than his numbers indicate and we've seen that over the last two games.

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#21 Oiler Al
October 19 2013, 09:54PM
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It was ugly, but you take the much needed win. Dubby saved the day on this one! With a couple days off, hope they work on their power play.

Was Hemsky injured? or he just take another day off?

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#22 Time Travelling Sean
October 19 2013, 04:21PM
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@Spydyr

What happened? It was behind the play, no one noticed anything, and there was a penalty taken by Hall. Hard to beat some guys brains in for kneeing Hall when you don't know what happened.

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#23 N4R
October 20 2013, 01:28AM
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Edmonton Oilers vs Ottawa Senators (19.10.2013) http://prognoz-na-sport.info/news/skachat_match_edmonton_oilers_vs_ottawa_senators_nhl_2013_2014_regular_season_19_10_2013/2013-10-20-6857

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#24 nick
October 20 2013, 06:21PM
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@druds

Nothing wrong with sitting vets when it is called for, to do it just to put in McT's stupid signing is another thing. Why would Schultz be a scratch??? Probably Ference deserved to sit more than anyone else. Not Schultz's mom but quite clearly you are Eakin's dad. Tell your idiot son he is not coaching in the AHL anymore.

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#25 chadster
October 19 2013, 08:46PM
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I always knew Dubsy was the best...only 5 points of a playoff spot...just need a new left winger and we're set!

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#26 Racki
October 20 2013, 02:01AM
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My thoughts on Perron.... he basically is a Max Lapierre that can score goals. Seems like he would fit in with the Vancouver mould too. This isn't a slight against him... we have always hated those types and wished for one or two of our own here. Aside from the pestiness and feistyness, he can score goals too. Best trade of MacT's short GM'ing career, and probably the best move by the Oilers in quite some time. Maybe since acquiring Pronger?

Dubnyk had a couple scary moments early on (one where he had his back turned to the entire zone, two feet outside the net), but outside of that, he was superb. Great game, and he really deserved the shutout. Bloody bouncing puck.. fluke goal.

Disappointing to see the Oilers put up back-to-back poor games too. Got the win in this one (thanks mostly to Dubnyk), but denied Duby his first win in the last game. The Corsi worm has turned. Not doing so well in that area any more. Even Eakins is starting to question whether he has to change the system before things spiral out of hand.

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#27 Spydyr
October 20 2013, 07:11AM
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LoweBlow wrote:

I completely agree. A culture of accountability is important. All of these players need to know that there are consequences for errors and a lack of production. Cane them if you have to!

The problem is there is no accountability anywhere in management. As long as you know what it takes to win because you have six rings you have a job for life.

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#28 Jay Gray
October 19 2013, 03:50PM
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Dubnyk was awesome, hopefully some fans will step away from the ledge and stop talking crazy talk.

Perron is doing the things this team needs to win. I love him already.

Hopefully Hall is only out a game or two. From the outside looking in, it didn't look all that bad.

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#29 Naky
October 19 2013, 05:52PM
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It's funny. When DD plays well, be it a win or a loss, everyone complains how badly the team is playing in front of him. When he doesn't, they harp entirely on him and ignore the fact that the team is still playing badly in front of him.

Maybe we should just all come to the real conclusion in that the team just plays badly in front of the goalies most of the time. And for the love of god, forget the scores. If our kids score 4 or 5 goals only to make mindblowing stupid mistakes and breakdowns that also cause 4 or 5 goals, it's all for naught. This is why they need to learn how to play better, so we can score those goals AND not absolutely require the most elite goaltender in the league to bail us out with each and every game to make up for the fact that they can't (or won't) play responsibly.

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#30 hags9k
October 19 2013, 06:54PM
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Great to see Dubnyk firm up these last couple games with his back against the wall. This experience should make him better.

I don't think there was any intent on the hit. His knee came into Halls as he comes in and tries to make a check. Very frustrating but this isn't a dirty hit. Hall on Clutterbuck on the other hand...

I think we are seeing a permanent shift away from the enforcer role. We all know that toughness is great and helps win and the Oilers don't have enough, but having fighters at the end of the bench is now useless. Toughness is a great bonus, but you have to be able to play first and foremost.

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#31 Serious Gord
October 19 2013, 09:16PM
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KozyMel wrote:

"represent" the remark means you are like it, that you mirror it.

"resent" the remark means you find it offensive.

Self-deprecation is lost on some people.

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#32 LoweBlow
October 20 2013, 02:03AM
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KozyMel wrote:

The problem is that Eakins sat the wrong Schultz.

Just like he sat Yakupov, he should let the defence's MINUS leader watch a game or two from upstairs to get a grasp of what playing D in the NHL is all about.

J.Schultz was on the ice for the two E/S goals vs PIT, the shorthanded goal and E/S goal in the NYI game, and on the ice for the E/S goal this game.

Does he have a "no-consequence" clause in his contract? Does he play for Kavis Reed?

NO! So park his defensive liability a$$ upstairs and watch a few!!

I'm not a total hater, but why doesn't he have to pay like the others do?

I completely agree. A culture of accountability is important. All of these players need to know that there are consequences for errors and a lack of production. Cane them if you have to!

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#33 sintaxi
October 19 2013, 04:23PM
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Perron is quickly becoming my favourite oiler. IMHO he is the most playoff ready player on the team.

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#34 Jay Gray
October 19 2013, 04:26PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I'm not sure how wanting to upgrade any position and that includes goal,especially goal, is crazy talk.Please explain?

Teams have won cups with goaltending worse than we currently have. Sure, it's great to have Roy in net. But we have Dubnyk and when he's good, he's good. No sense freaking out and overpaying for someone who may, or may not be better than what we currently have.

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#35 G Money
October 19 2013, 04:41PM
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RB sez: "... but I neither saw Gryba widen his stance to get a piece of Hall or drag his leg in any manner as to clip him."

I dunno, this screencap pretty clearly shows a very wide stance and a definite turn of the knee into Hall's knee.

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/19/should-eric-gryba-be-suspended-for-his-hit-on-taylor-hall/

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#36 oilinmyblood
October 19 2013, 04:49PM
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Was at the game today and here were my 10 post game thoughts:

1. Team is way to disorganized 2. Put the d### puck on net, one more pass isn't necessarily going to net you a better shot. 3. Dubnyk saved the ones he needed to but the Sens didn't have a great chances. 4. Ryan Smyth's penalty in the 3rd was sheer stupidity. You could see him jumping into the play for no apparent reason. 5. Loved Perron's in your face play. 6. Smid doesn't use his head enough and it leads to penalties. 7. The Oilers hardly drove the play and I spent the last two periods hoping they wouldn't blow their lead because it never felt like they were going to pull it out. 8. Eberle make things happen. Whenever he's on the ice things seem to go well. 9. Oilers Nation rocks...there were a ton of Oiler jerseys this afternoon and at one point there was even a "Go Oilers Go" chant...we have some fine loyal fans. 10. It was my son's first live Oiler game...thank goodness it was a win.

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#37 KozyMel
October 19 2013, 08:38PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

What happened? It was behind the play, no one noticed anything, and there was a penalty taken by Hall. Hard to beat some guys brains in for kneeing Hall when you don't know what happened.

If you have to ask, you weren't watching the game:

- wasn't "behind the play", Hall had the puck. - no one noticed?:

-- The Ref's noticed enough to be watching and call a feeble penalty on the retaliation by Hall (as minimal as it was) -- CBC had multi-angle replays, so they noticed too

There were 2 Oilers defencemen on the ice at the time, what were they watching??

Who expects that marshmallow group of blueliners to stand up for anyone?

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#38 Zarny
October 20 2013, 10:22PM
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I don't think you can say Dubnyk's struggles were blown out of proportion. He was atrocious early in the season.

Perhaps it was equipment changes. Maybe he was gripping the stick too tight knowing this is it. This year is his shot to prove himself and taking a run at Schneider lets him know there are doubters in the organization. Or maybe starting the year with the top two C hurt meant the Oilers were just a really bad team in front of him.

Patience is the key. The decision should be made on an appropriate body of work. This roster is not a Stanley Cup contender. Best case was always 7th or 8th and 9-11th just as likely with schedule and injuries. There are a few key moves MacT has to pull off for the Oilers to be real contenders but he has 2 seasons to make them happen.

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#39 Geoff
October 19 2013, 04:09PM
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We need more guys like Perron =x.

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#40 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 19 2013, 04:21PM
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The Perron trade is looking like a genius move by MacT.

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#41 DrunkGuyTy
October 19 2013, 05:00PM
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I believe there is a place for fighting in hockey. After the incidental contact that hurt Halls knee was not one of those places. Bad luck.

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#42 YFC Prez
October 19 2013, 05:00PM
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@steelymac

I would absolutely love having Krueger back and replace the current assistants. Doubt he plays second fiddle to Eakins and takes an assistant role behind the bench though.

No question his special teams are dynamite though.

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#43 Harlie
October 19 2013, 05:31PM
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@oilinmyblood

Awesome on your kid's first game, great experience!

And your right, it's clear that Eberle is the straw that stirs the drink. I'm expecting a big year out of him and he is great defensively IMO. Hope he makes the Olympic team as I would have him on my roster for sho.

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#44 yaz
October 19 2013, 11:27PM
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Eating crow which I don't mind when we win . Good for the Oil and the bounceback today. I am still not convinced but I liked that we started playing more grinders on the PK and kept some of our skill players fresher. Not perfect but better coaching and our own zone play was better. Carry it into Montreal and I hope it will continue. Tough schedule ahead so not much room for any nights off

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#45 Rdubb
October 20 2013, 07:31AM
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Why on earth did Eakins ever MESS with the PP & the PK, both of which have been in the top 10 (or damn near) the past few seasons. There were many other things that he could have re-worked, messed with, but doing so with the PP & PK should have been a no-brainer to leave alone. I do know & understand that poorer than average goaltending caused a few goals on the PK that shouldn't have gone in, but from the games I have been able to catch on the tube, their d-zone coverage has been nothing less than abysmal, & I think I am being polite... On the PP, missing Gagner hurts, but, they now have Peron, Belov, and a year older Yak to play on the 2nd unit, so why isn't Eberle playing with Hall, RNH & Schultz? Than the 5th guy on the 1st unit can be Boyd, as he is great in the circle (getting the Oilers the puck instead of chasing it), plus, he'll play in front, take a bit of a beating, distract the goalie and defenders, and maybe deflect a puck or two, @ the very least, create MORE ROOM for the skilled guys...But Eakins, for some unknown reason, seems to want to kill the PP and PK, maybe he wishes the Oilers to be in the mid 20's for both, I don't know, but his handling of both is NOT GOOD... Although, 5 on 5 play is somewhat better, but it couldn't get much worse than last season...

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#46 Greg the Hammer Valentine
October 20 2013, 07:54AM
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I was actually at the game. It was nice to see so many Oilers jerseys in the crowd.

As for the 2 minutes of 5 on 3, it was the worst display of special units I had ever seen.

It was an overall decent 60-minutes effort, although I didn't think Hall was having a very good game before his injury. RNH had a monster game.

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#47 Spydyr
October 20 2013, 08:46AM
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John Doe wrote:

Kelly Buchberger runs the special teams, Eakins hasn't changed anything. Edmonton has just been really bad on the special teams so far. All there is to it.

I'm thinking Ralph might have had a thing or two to do with the special teams last year.

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#48 Mike Modano's Dog
October 20 2013, 07:33PM
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The hit by Gryba had no malice intended in my opinion, either.

Hall just got caught up in the aftermath from an attempted check. Not sure if there would be any injury there, 99 times out of 100...

It didn't seem to take much to damage that knee though which is the most concerning thing to me from all of this.

I hope it is just a few days and then he is back, good as new! But as L.T. says, "we wait..."!

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#49 bazmagoo
October 19 2013, 04:00PM
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Game should have been sewn up on that 5 on 3, unfortunately the Oilers never make it easy on us, ha. Nice to see them get a win and Dubnyk have a solid performance. You are 100% right Robin, our PP needs a serious overhaul ASAP.

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#50 Wax Man Riley
October 19 2013, 04:34PM
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sintaxi wrote:

Perron is quickly becoming my favourite oiler. IMHO he is the most playoff ready player on the team.

Probably because he has played in the playoffs lol.

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