GDB 10.0: DUBNYK NEEDS TO DOMINATE

Jason Gregor
October 22 2013 12:06PM

Devan Dubnyk is going to have to roll up his sleeves, put on his gloves and pads, get an extra hard hat and hope he did a lot of squats in the off-season, because he might have to carry the Oilers for awhile.

Taylor Hall's MRI came back and the good news is that he's only out four weeks, not six months, but the bad news is that he could be out up to four weeks. Ryan Smyth injured his groin and is out at least a week. Sam Gagner is still recovering from a broken jaw and Jordan Eberle will play, but he aggravated a hip injury in Ottawa and isn't 100%.

Dubnyk faced 76 shots the past two games, and he only allowed four goals. He'll need to continue his strong play to give the Oilers any chance of getting back to .500.

While Dubnyk will try and hold down the fort defensively, Nail Yakupov has a great opportunity to step up offensively. Jordan Eberle has been the Oilers best forward recently, and Yakupov will skate with Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tonight and likely for the next month.

This will be Yakupov's third consecutive game playing with Nugent-Hopkins, and it is time for him to produce. Yakupov's role on the team is to score. It's the hardest job, but if he isn't producing he isn't helping the team win. I suspect once he scores his goals his confidence will increase rapidly, and he could go on a scoring binge. The Oilers need that to happen sooner than later.

LINEUP

Yakupov-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Hemsky
Jones-Gordon-Pitlick
Gazdic-Acton-Eager

Smid-Petry
Belov-J.Schultz
N.Schultz-Ference

Dubnyk

Tyler Pitlick will play his first NHL game tonight, and according to Todd Nelson Pitlick has played well in OKC this year. With Smyth and Hall injured he has a great chance to give the Oilers what they are missing in their top-nine; a winger who has some skill, will forecheck, can cycle the puck and play aggressive. He's waited three years for this opportunity, so hopefully he makes the most of it.

Ben Eager will play his first NHL game since March 8th. This is Eager's last chance with the Oilers. He should have lots to prove. Eager skates better and is bigger than Mike Brown, who was traded to San Jose last night for a 4th round pick, but he'll need to cycle the puck better to be an upgrade on Brown. That isn't saying much, since Brown sucked at it, but if Eager can't stay out of his own end he isn't an upgrade. Eager needs to play with conviction every shift.

The Canadiens are just as banged up as the Oilers. Max Pacioretty, Daniel Briere, Brandon Prust, George Parros, Alexei Yemelin, Douglas Murray and Davis Drewiske are all injured.

They will go with this lineup tonight:

Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher
Bournival-Plekanec-Gionta
Moen-Desharnais-Bourque
Holland-White-Blunden

Markov-Subban
Gorges-Diaz
Beaulieau-Bouillion

Price

Prust is a big loss for the Canadiens. He and Travis Moen dominated the Oilers in Edmonton a few weeks ago, and he brings a lot of energy to their bottom six. Lethbridge product Patrick Holland will make his NHL debut tonight, while Mike Blunden plays his first game with the Habs.

The Eller line has produced 21 points in 8 games, while P.K Subban has 2 goals and 10 points in 8 games.

The entire Oilers defence has 2 goals and 11 points in 9 games. Subban is a bonafide #1 D-man.

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers win when you least expect it, and they will continue that tonight with a 3-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Eager and the fourth line will struggle getting the puck out in the 2nd period, and the comment sections will explode with calls for the return of Linus Omark.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Early in the 3rd period, Wil Acton scores and Eager gets an assist. This time the comment section explodes with barbs tossed at those who doubted the 4th line. None of the posts claim the 4th line is consistently productive; they just want to rip on those who wanted Omark recalled instead. Get ready for just another night in the rollercoaster season of the Edmonton Oilers.

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 vetinari
October 22 2013, 12:32PM
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@Gregor-- now I'm just hurt. Are you suggesting that we are likely to turn on each other like a pack of rabid dogs in the comments section? I prefer to think that our similarities outweigh our differences and that Oiler Nation is united by these core concepts--

1. we all hate the Calgary Flames. No exceptions. Sure, you can admire players like Iginla but you don't dare mention it out loud until he's no longer a Flame.

2. never read the full posts by NewAgeSystem, Wronger, Anonymous or any of the other guys that need more than 250 words to say something that can be said in 10 words or less. Just log your "trash" vote and skip on to the next comment.

3. it's been a long walk in the desert to reach the promise land of the playoffs and hopefully it's on the near horizon. Tambellini, Quinn, Renney, Krueger, and a host of players couldn't find the way but maybe someone finally has a compass. Otherwise, all this purging has been for nothing.

4. Again, we all hate the Flames. This bears repeating. They are like Canuck fans but without the riots. Or the granola. Or the green men. And they play in an arena that is shaped like something that would normally cradle my junk.

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#2 RJ
October 22 2013, 12:50PM
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Yak's intermission interview:

"I score 2 goals, so is good. I want coach happy first line minutes play hard and win games"

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#3 Zamboni Driver
October 22 2013, 01:40PM
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@DSF

Goalie line was better. Shoulda left it.

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#4 oldhippy
October 22 2013, 08:09PM
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JohnDoe wrote:

Arcobello sucks. Anybody and I mean anybody that plays between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle is going to pick up assists. There is a reason why Arcobello has 0 goals. Sam Gagner back means Arco back down to OKC.

Dumbest comment tonight, easily beating out several truly inane ones.

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#5 Mullet Man
October 22 2013, 01:05PM
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Hey Yakupov no pressure to start scoring but I think there is a goalie in Phoenix that is out scoring you.

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#6 Danger Pay
October 22 2013, 12:24PM
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Let's look on the bright side. Oil Change has started up again and we get to re-live this horrible start to the season all over again. Why Hockey Gods? Why art thou so cruel towards Oilers fans? Why? (starts weeping uncontrollably)

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#7 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 22 2013, 08:34PM
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Attention Lars Eller: crawl back down whatever s**thole you came from, because you just lost to a 'junior' team.

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#8 Ari Gold
October 22 2013, 02:43PM
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@vetinari

There y'all go around acting like Nuck fans aren't the worst in sports. This includes Corinthians fans in São Paulo, Brazil. The clowns in Van aren't even true hockey fans, they started watching at the end of Naslund's career after the team threw Beartuzzi under the bus.

Van is a garbage city, trust me, I live there, part time. I can't wait for hockey fans to be incited by the spoiled anarchist children of hippie granola crunchers drunk on soy-sauce Couvarians to burn down this rat/hipster infested garbage hole.

Kessler is a figureskating pansy, the Sedins are soft lil toddler punching-bags and Bieksa is a couple switchblade marks away from looking like the Joker, someone beat that smirk off his face!!

Yes, I hope Cowgary is swallowed by a volcanic eruption but I hope For Van something much worse: I hope that it stays intact, until the west coast happily falls into the Pacific. I hope they go another 40 years with nothing but a Presidents trophy or two to inflate their oversized left-coast egos. Terrible weather, no outdoor rinks & retard citizens.

Eat $hit Vancouver!

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#9 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 08:17PM
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Arco has been this years most pleasant surprise.After his showing last year in his cup of coffee I truly thought we were hooped at center.Not so,good on him.

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#10 Johe
October 22 2013, 08:16PM
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Arcobello played ONE game in the NHL before this year. He's a ROOKIE. People seem to forget that. For his first few games in the NHL he has been great. And tonight he was exceptional. Just note the number of smart little passes or chips he makes in his own zone to get the puck out of danger and moving the right direction. It doesn't show up on the scoresheet but it's a big reason the Oilers won tonight. Very smart player. He is cementing a roster spot.

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#11 brian_d
October 22 2013, 12:20PM
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Excited to see the Yak/RNH/Ebs trio work together again. They've been clicking so far. If Dubnyk doesn't let in any softies, we have a good shot at winning this game.

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#12 oldhippy
October 22 2013, 08:12PM
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Arco tied for rookie point lead. No Hall tonight to "pad" his stats. Did not play with Eberle for at least three games. Gagner and RNH missing for the first two games. Out hitting most players on the team. Was doing great at face-offs outside tonight. The big decision is where Gagner plays when he is cleared.

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#13 DOUG WAIT!
October 22 2013, 12:24PM
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I want a Golie and I am drunk, so get a Golie

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#14 **
October 22 2013, 12:52PM
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Pitlick will score his first.

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#15 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 08:11PM
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@Alsker

Lol. Did you just tell hemmer to PASS? First time for everything.

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#16 Craig1981
October 22 2013, 08:16PM
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3-6-1 in the first 10 games. With 7 of them away, new coaching system, 40% new roster, and missing your top 2 centers at times. Not as great as you hope for, but its not too terrible and the season is not doomed.

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#17 916oiler
October 22 2013, 12:50PM
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Deep breaths, patience, beer. Beer. Beer. Beer. Beer. Beer.

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#18 Ari Gold
October 22 2013, 02:22PM
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Simply put, win or lose, there won't be much to be satisfied with unless it's 10-0 and Price says 'I'm done!' To Habs management.

Hope is a beautiful/heartbreaking thing. Cool-Aid anyone! I brought rum too.

Go Oil. Burn in hell, all opponents. I hope the Oilers start transporting the players in cages and release them only to go on the ice. Feed them blood. This team needs to get mean. We've got enough Ned Braidens.

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#19 Lochenzo
October 22 2013, 03:18PM
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"Oilers are ‘like a junior team, sometimes’: Canadien Lars Eller"

Make Lars Eller can eat his words off of a door mat. WIN!!!!

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#20 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 22 2013, 08:01PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Nuge looks completely inept let alone neutralized. Kid can't play top line minutes..

**crickets**

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#21 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 22 2013, 08:05PM
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@JohnDoe

Spoken like a true moron.

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#22 Harlie
October 22 2013, 08:50PM
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Mark Arco tied for lead in NHL assists!!!

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#23 DSF
October 22 2013, 01:21PM
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Mullet Man wrote:

Hey Yakupov no pressure to start scoring but I think there is a goalie in Phoenix that is out scoring you.

Not to mention 123 NHL DEFENSEMEN.

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#24 Dog Train
October 22 2013, 04:40PM
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My blood boils every time I hear that Ole Ole garbage from Habs fans. I better not hear it tonight. Oilers win 4-1.

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#25 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 22 2013, 06:44PM
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Dubnyk's the reason it isn't 5-0 right now, Spidey.

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#26 Naky
October 22 2013, 08:07PM
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I don't disagree entirely that anyone who plays between Hall and Eberle is going to get points, that's also completely discounting the legitimate plays Arcobello has been making to get them the puck so -they- can score. Belittling his contributions is kind of silly.

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#27 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 12:09PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:An Oiler gets injured.Likely a shoulder injury.

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#28 Shaun Doe
October 22 2013, 07:11PM
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I always felt that if Smid scores the Oilers HAVE to win. It just seems like such a waste if they don't.

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#29 Poolanov
October 22 2013, 08:29PM
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Wow watching this flames game makes me want to slip into a coma compared to watching our boys. That's one good thing ...I guess

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#30 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 08:08PM
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Naky wrote:

I don't disagree entirely that anyone who plays between Hall and Eberle is going to get points, that's also completely discounting the legitimate plays Arcobello has been making to get them the puck so -they- can score. Belittling his contributions is kind of silly.

I'm thinking Gagner comes back playing the wing. With Hall out it just makes sense.

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#31 loweblows
October 22 2013, 02:05PM
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game day prediction: team rallies around loss of taylor hall and pull a out a 5-1 win-go to bed happy-GO OILERS!

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#32 Slats
October 22 2013, 12:56PM
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vetinari wrote:

@Gregor-- now I'm just hurt. Are you suggesting that we are likely to turn on each other like a pack of rabid dogs in the comments section? I prefer to think that our similarities outweigh our differences and that Oiler Nation is united by these core concepts--

1. we all hate the Calgary Flames. No exceptions. Sure, you can admire players like Iginla but you don't dare mention it out loud until he's no longer a Flame.

2. never read the full posts by NewAgeSystem, Wronger, Anonymous or any of the other guys that need more than 250 words to say something that can be said in 10 words or less. Just log your "trash" vote and skip on to the next comment.

3. it's been a long walk in the desert to reach the promise land of the playoffs and hopefully it's on the near horizon. Tambellini, Quinn, Renney, Krueger, and a host of players couldn't find the way but maybe someone finally has a compass. Otherwise, all this purging has been for nothing.

4. Again, we all hate the Flames. This bears repeating. They are like Canuck fans but without the riots. Or the granola. Or the green men. And they play in an arena that is shaped like something that would normally cradle my junk.

you also forgot

5. trying to decipher the statistical logic or correlation to DSF's posts (usually there isn't a correlation to the statement) before immediately going to the Trash Accelerator

TA - I notice that no matter how fast I read the post trash # for DSF goes up in multiples of 5

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#33 socaldave
October 22 2013, 06:22PM
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So can we say Dubnyk's no longer anything to worry about? I think so. I counted SIX quality chances for the Habs - Dubnyk of last week lets in probably four of those. I think he's back.

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#34 Ari Gold
October 22 2013, 08:34PM
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Good on Arco. He's quickly becoming one if my favourites. He doesn't give the puck away, he hits, doesn't dhy away from traffic and has a nose for offence. Give this kid a full time job!

The Oil beat two playoff teams in a row? I must be dreaming. Sonehow this just doesn't feel right after that horrendous first period.

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#35 Geoff
October 22 2013, 08:39PM
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@Ari Gold

Arco was also one of the few plus players during our skid of losing. I think that says something by itself! =D.

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#36 Mac962
October 22 2013, 03:02PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

There y'all go around acting like Nuck fans aren't the worst in sports. This includes Corinthians fans in São Paulo, Brazil. The clowns in Van aren't even true hockey fans, they started watching at the end of Naslund's career after the team threw Beartuzzi under the bus.

Van is a garbage city, trust me, I live there, part time. I can't wait for hockey fans to be incited by the spoiled anarchist children of hippie granola crunchers drunk on soy-sauce Couvarians to burn down this rat/hipster infested garbage hole.

Kessler is a figureskating pansy, the Sedins are soft lil toddler punching-bags and Bieksa is a couple switchblade marks away from looking like the Joker, someone beat that smirk off his face!!

Yes, I hope Cowgary is swallowed by a volcanic eruption but I hope For Van something much worse: I hope that it stays intact, until the west coast happily falls into the Pacific. I hope they go another 40 years with nothing but a Presidents trophy or two to inflate their oversized left-coast egos. Terrible weather, no outdoor rinks & retard citizens.

Eat $hit Vancouver!

LOL - Couldnt stop laughing - Awesome take on Van shiity, i mean city.

anarchist children of Hippie granola crunchers drunk on soy sauce !

lol - That my friend is so true.

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#37 Bucknuck
October 22 2013, 04:12PM
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I look forward to seeing the Oil go on a tear. The Canadiens decide to open up the game and Yakupov makes them pay with a hattie.

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#38 Zarny
October 22 2013, 04:49PM
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2013 is the trial of Devan Dubnyk.

He doesn't just have to prove he's good enough to make the playoffs or that he's a legit #1 G.

He has to prove he can win the Stanley Cup. He has to steal games regardless of who is playing in front of him.

Anything short of that and the Oilers need to upgrade G in the next 1-3 years.

If winning the Stanley Cup is really the goal.

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#39 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:24PM
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@socaldave

Agreed. Dubnyk is doing his job. That could have been much uglier.

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#40 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 22 2013, 08:08PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Spoken like a true moron.

I propsed myself because RUM.

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#41 Alsker
October 22 2013, 08:10PM
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come on Hemmer pass it to Arco!!!!

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#42 Bubba
October 22 2013, 02:32PM
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@Spydyr

BRING BACK FREAKIN OMARK!!!

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#43 Mac962
October 22 2013, 06:35PM
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You know what ? We do look like a lost Junior team out there. There is no, none, zero sense of urgency, has anyone seen a forecheck push yet , some hitting. Man i am a die hard,, this is just so painful. If they dont sign Tootoo to inject some piss and vinegar into this lineup something is wrong. Eller is right.... and it is tearing me to pieces.

Come on Oilers - wake the f--k up.

Yakapov - Galchenyuk ? are you kidding me , Gallagher is better than Yakapov. I am sorry this kid is going to be bust , HE IS NOT what this team needs, we need drive Nail , trust me commrade, you are not that special. Prove me wrong please.

Eakins ? i am biting my lip ....but the teams play is a reflection of you as well. AHL this is not Dallas.

Trash me , i dont care. I am a hurting Oil diehard venting.

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#44 Reg Dunlop
October 22 2013, 07:58PM
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Regardless of the outcome, Pitlick has had solid game. With his wheels he could be Glencross. Also, and we all kinda knew, Perron is a prick. Go oil.

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#45 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 08:01PM
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@JohnDoe

Dubnyk looks on his game tonight.As much as it pains me have to give him props.

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#46 oilerman53
October 22 2013, 08:45PM
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Wow these guys have a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on right now. First half absolutely no fire or direction to their game then last half they put the pedal to the metal and come away from Montreal with two points. Couple things stood out, Gordon and Arcobello have been revelations at center. They're two extremely smart players who rarely put their teams in danger and with guys like Yak who tend to make shaky plays often its a welcome change. The defense is slowly starting to take shape, Petry is very solid and found his game from two years ago. His physical play is a bonus, always making a good play on every shift. Dubnyk settling down is a huge confidence booster for this teams morale, knowing he can make the big save has this team being able to make a more offensive play every shift. Pitlick will find a roster spot if he keeps hitting, exactly the kind of player we need out there. Hemmer is shutting up all of his critics.

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#47 Oilers need Ogie Ogilthorpe!
October 22 2013, 09:20PM
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MOE wrote:

I do know one thing. If i have to see that stupid boys and girls club commercial again i will shoot myself .

But she loooves to inspire youth... We could use her

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#48 75ers
October 22 2013, 04:21PM
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@Lochenzo

Maybe get Gazdic to give Eller a little blueline hit like Eric Gryba delivered Eller last year. Oh and win.

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#49 Naky
October 22 2013, 06:24PM
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Goaltending is the least of this team's problems right now. Dubnyk's been bailing this defensively pathetic team left and right and they can barely even clear the puck out of their own zone in response. Junior team comparison seems about right.

I think what's sick is that I'm still going to have to read comments from people railing on Dubnyk for not stealing another game we don't deserve to win because they just watched the score on Sportsnet instead of watching this debacle.

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#50 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:37PM
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It's not Eakins. It wasn't Krueger. It wasn't renney. This young oilers team is stubborn and has consistently made the same stupid giveaways. They play like a junior team because they refuse to listen to any coach and tighten up defensively. At this point I don't think Scotty bowman could coach these guys.

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