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 

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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 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 22 2013, 06:53PM
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Spydyr wrote:

So your saying it is kinda like a junior team playing an NHL team ?

Oh definitely, I won't disagree there. But ripping on Dubnyk tonight is venting your frustration in the wrong direction.

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#52 Uks Ya!
October 22 2013, 08:40PM
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I was waiting for a hab to pick up Hemskys miss (which should have been Arco's 1st) to be picked up by a hab & returned for a goal for some patrik Stefan Deja' Vu on Hemmer....

all in all, the boys played well! lookin forward to seeing more & more of Pitlick...

as for jonesy's cough up he TOTALLY REDEEMED HiMSELF! crashing the net for the GWG!!

well goodnite boys, cant wait for that blockbuster @ 10am tmrw....

Pk Subban would look amazing in Oilers Blue!

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#53 Mikey
October 22 2013, 01:01PM
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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.

I think MacT brought a compas, lets just hope he knows how to read it.

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#54 Cynic
October 22 2013, 02:19PM
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Obvious game day prediction: Another L

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#55 Reg Dunlop
October 22 2013, 06:21PM
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Actually, let me revise that. Jr. hockey teams play with emotion, hustle and chaos. The oil don't often show the emotion and hustle.

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#56 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:22PM
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I hope Perrons compete rubs off on some of these oilers soon. He Hemsky and eberle were the only forwards worth watching that period. Dubnyk bailed out a lot of high quality chances.

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#57 #YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty
October 22 2013, 06:41PM
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Mikey wrote:

Hana sounds like sportsnet reads the comments here. Dallas is not teaching the oilers to turn over the puck. It's not the coach.

I don't think Eakins is teaching them anything except how healthy a smoothie is over a Big Mac

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#58 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 06:42PM
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Some dirty mitts on that Eberle kid I tell ya.

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#59 socaldave
October 22 2013, 07:00PM
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So when does Hemmer finally get back to the first line?

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#60 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 07:06PM
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Spydyr wrote:

mmmmmmm rum....Holy crap Smid just scored one is it a full moon?

Can't tell. That flock of flying pigs is blocking the view outside

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#61 Poolanov
October 22 2013, 07:16PM
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WTF just happened there!!! We looked kind of ok for a period.

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#62 JohnDoe
October 22 2013, 07:35PM
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Somebody needs to f**cking crank Lars Eller for his comments. But its the Oilers so no one will.

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#63 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 07:53PM
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The look on the Habs coach's face reminded me of Eakins look last week.

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#64 vetinari
October 22 2013, 07:56PM
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Greasy goals... that's what we've been missing. And I can't help but like Arcobello-- looks like he's played himself into the top 6.

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#65 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 08:12PM
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Two game winning streak.Longest of the season.Should that make one happy or sad?

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#66 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 10:39PM
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@Alsker

I think many people are forgetting yak hasn't even played an entire full season yet. He is definetly in a slump and needs to bring up his game to a level we've seen him play. Back checking would be great !

But talking about trading a 1 st overall pick before they've even played 82 games is a little nutty. That's a lot of talent to send out. I have a feeling yak will be doing to the naysayers next week what dubs has done this week.

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#67 Wigswag
October 22 2013, 02:33PM
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The Perron Arco Hemsky line has a good vibe to it. I predict 3 goals out of them tonight (Arco with 2).

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#68 Ari Gold
October 22 2013, 04:26PM
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Sammy wrote:

Batman??? Is that you??? Time to up the meds Mr.K ;-)

You've got me confused with someone else there champ.

I'm just a humble ex-pat edmontonian living between Brazil & Van that's tired of being shyt on my Couvarians who glorify their mediocre city.

Where are you from?

Originally? Edmonton.

Yuck, you must be happy to be here.

Actually I think Van is ok but it's certainly not the best place on earth. I prefer Montreal, or Rio, or Nice or Barcelona...

Oh, yeah. Well, if you're comparing it to those.... Well, ok.

Van can choke on a testicule sandwich!

It's not psychosis, just pure unadultered hatred. :)

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#69 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 05:52PM
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I love yak. But that was way too soft on that puck. Dubnyk totally bailed him out

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#70 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 06:30PM
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The Oilers look lost in their own end.That has to be on the coach. Swarm my a$$...wait that never came out right.

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#71 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:57PM
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@Spydyr

In all fairness. It took Rollie most of his career to find consistency.

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#72 Shaun Doe
October 22 2013, 06:59PM
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That was a terrible PP as usual... Why was Jones on the ice? Did Eakins appreciate his ability to pass after that beauty to Gallagher?

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#73 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:59PM
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Yes. Hemsky deserved that. His great game was being lost in all the oiler suckiness from the rest of the club.

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#74 Lofty
October 22 2013, 07:43PM
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#YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty wrote:

Well, I know its not Sean Horcoff (huge grin on face sitting in Dallas)

Shawn. #Whenyourscreennamedoesntfititstoolong

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#75 Thumby
October 22 2013, 07:56PM
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Lesson 1: shoot the puck and good things happen. Lesson 2: see lesson 1

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#76 Oilcruzer
October 22 2013, 08:59PM
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Thots.

Habs thought it was over at half time?

Lars Eller did Oil a favour.

How in Hades did Hemsky get overlooked on the star ballot?

First game where Dubey looked "on" the entire game.

Eberle played pretty good for being on the doubtful list a couple hours before puck drop.

and...

FINALLY. I've been playing the Pitlick Banjo since January 2012. Sort of like a JFJ who gets it.

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#77 Hall's Knee
October 22 2013, 04:17PM
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Gregor predicted an Oiler win=automatic loss

thanks for jinxing it!

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#78 Bucknuck
October 22 2013, 04:54PM
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Zarny wrote:

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.

Oh boy did you ever nail it.

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#79 Ari Gold
October 22 2013, 06:12PM
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Pathetic hustle by the fourth line.. Results in a PP and then a goal. Another bloody blue line giveaway ends up in a second goal....Why am I watching this garbage??.

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#80 Reg Dunlop
October 22 2013, 06:18PM
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Eller is a little puke that needs to be tuned but he is right. The oil is no better than a jr. squad.

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#81 socaldave
October 22 2013, 06:30PM
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Just someone PLEASE throw a hit. I don't care if they get penalised, suspended, just MAKE SOMEONE IN A RED SWEATER PAY!!!

Ladislav Smid? I'm looking at you, pal.

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#82 #YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty
October 22 2013, 06:38PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Eller is a little puke that needs to be tuned but he is right. The oil is no better than a jr. squad.

I agreed Eller is right, too but who is going to tune him in. The Oilers are a bunch of little girls even #20. Proof...Brendan Gallagher, 5'9 and 178 lbs running around the ice laughing at all the Oilers players and none have any balls to stand up to him. Don't tell me there are no one on the Oilers roster that is bigger than this punk.

I heard the funniest thing while watching Montreal's first goal...my 7 yrs old daughter said "reason the Oilers got scored on is because they don't work hard enough" "they are too weak"...too funny. Fire Eakins and sign her up. I'll even let her coach for skittles and gummy worms lol.

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#83 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:45PM
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@BingBong

Semi weak goals. I don't think weak goals mean what you think they mean. Know what I mean?

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#84 MOE
October 22 2013, 06:54PM
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I do know one thing. If i have to see that stupid boys and girls club commercial again i will shoot myself .

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#85 Ari Gold
October 22 2013, 07:07PM
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2-2 yet I'm still disgusted. The Oil don't deserve to be in this game. I hate teams that coast for large stretches of games.

I think I'm beginning to associate Oilers with disappointment. Now I know what Sean Horcoff thought like.

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#86 #YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty
October 22 2013, 07:15PM
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Spydyr wrote:

On a positive note Bunz is .953 so far this year in the ECHL.

Dubbie for mayor

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#87 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 07:38PM
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JohnDoe wrote:

Somebody needs to f**cking crank Lars Eller for his comments. But its the Oilers so no one will.

Yeah, they should send Arcobello after him .

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#88 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 07:48PM
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Ok who was that guy dissing the Nuge earlier?

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#89 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 07:49PM
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Atta boy nug. Whatta pass

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#90 JohnDoe
October 22 2013, 07:56PM
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#YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty wrote:

Montreal was just taking a nap. Didn't want to run up the score. Watch out for the 3rd though!! 4-2 Montreal...sad to say :(..breaking out my Oilers shot glass and volka

4-2 Montreal? You sure about that?

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#91 TonyT
October 22 2013, 09:01PM
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I've watched this team for the majority of my life, and I'd have to go a ways back before I've seen this team with a forecheck. Many nights I feel the Oilers aren't a playoff style team, then they surprise me and play like they did for the latter part of tonight's game. Like watching my kids taking their first steps.

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#92 Reg Dunlop
October 22 2013, 12:15PM
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Close game. Both squads are hurting. Oil in a shoot out, 3-2. That is why we employ so many small guys that are +/- useless in a hard-hitting, close checking game; shoot out specialists. Good luck to Pitlick, may it be the first of many.

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#93 Serious Gord
October 22 2013, 02:59PM
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Injuries make this very hard to predict. Mtl wins 5-3.

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#94 27Ginge
October 22 2013, 05:24PM
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@Ari Gold

Impressive. I like the subtlety.

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#95 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 05:48PM
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Congrats to pitlick. He's one of the prospects I've been keeping tabs on and almost gave up in him. Start of last season I had the kid completely written off. Good luck in you first game!

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#96 Naky
October 22 2013, 06:14PM
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This team has fallen apart for the last half of this entire period. They're leaving Dubnyk out to dry here, this is painful to watch.

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#97 Harlie
October 22 2013, 06:19PM
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Oh boy MacT. This don't look good fella.

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#98 Mikey
October 22 2013, 06:27PM
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Hana sounds like sportsnet reads the comments here. Dallas is not teaching the oilers to turn over the puck. It's not the coach.

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#99 Harlie
October 22 2013, 06:29PM
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It's not the coach? It's not the goalie? OH HELL YEAH IT IS.

It's them and everyone else on this team and the organization too.

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#100 Harlie
October 22 2013, 06:37PM
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Poolanov wrote:

The only thing MacT can do to help right now is step behind that bench and teach those boys the ol' 2006 trap.

Be careful what you wish for...

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