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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#151 Asian on Oilers Nation
October 23 2013, 08:45AM
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What does it take to get Subban in Edmonton? I held my breath every time he blasted it from the blue line... All-star defenseman. Definite Norris candidate.

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#152 Craig1981
October 22 2013, 12:28PM
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Gregor, I have been trying to figure out LTIR. From what I understand it only allows them to go over the cap temporarily, but Gagner's hit(if he was to be placed on it) would count fully by the end of the year. Meaning if you used the LTIR to go over the first half by $1,000,000 you would need to play the second half 1 million under. Am I correct and that is why Gagner hasn't been placed on it? Its a tool mainly used at the end of the year?

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#153 Bubba
October 22 2013, 02:33PM
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@LoweBlow

OMFG!!! Run for Mayor Dude!!!!!

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#154 Alsker
October 22 2013, 03:08PM
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@vetinari

#4 made me go look for the Props X 10 button...What it still does not exist...

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#155 steelymac
October 22 2013, 06:31PM
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Is it safe to say Eakins has crushed Yaks confidence?

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#156 Poolanov
October 22 2013, 06:34PM
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The only thing MacT can do to help right now is step behind that bench and teach those boys the ol' 2006 trap.

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#157 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:52PM
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See yak. Move your feet. Draw a penalty. Now repeat please.

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#158 Harlie
October 22 2013, 06:55PM
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I'm not saying Eakins should go yet, but would the Moose have done us any worse at this point so far?

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#159 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:55PM
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Wow. Hammys wife. Wowsa!

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#160 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 06:55PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

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

It is not just about tonight.Never said a word about his game tonight.It is about his career since 2004.He still has not shown consistency.Something you need from a goalie to win in the NHL.

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#161 #YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty
October 22 2013, 06:57PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Who do you think is the happiest guy in Edmonton today?

1)Iveson

2)Brown

Wild guess...but I know it won't be the 2014 4th round pick they got from the Sharks for Brown.

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#162 LoweBlow
October 22 2013, 07:00PM
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Nuge looks completely inept let alone neutralized. Kid can't play top line minutes..

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#163 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 07:00PM
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Hemsky would be worth his 5 million if they played the Habs like a divisional opponent.

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#164 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 22 2013, 07:02PM
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Spydyr wrote:

It is not just about tonight.Never said a word about his game tonight.It is about his career since 2004.He still has not shown consistency.Something you need from a goalie to win in the NHL.

Yeah you're not wrong there either. I'll retract my previous comments, I thought you were calling him inconsistent tonight.

I blame the rum.

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#165 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 07:09PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Dubnyk is sub par in the nhl. But price is an elite goalie MOST of the time. But sometimes he just seems to lose focus - like how he put it on a tee for smid with that rebound. A real coaches ulcer...

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

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#166 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 07:36PM
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@LoweBlow

I wouldn't. It just makes it hurt a little more when they blow it.

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#167 BingBong
October 22 2013, 07:44PM
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Jeez, I think we should give Subban more room when he's entering our zone. I know he can skate, but come on.

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#168 Poolanov
October 22 2013, 07:55PM
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@#YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty

SQEEZE ME!!!!!!!!!!!

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#169 JohnDoe
October 22 2013, 07:58PM
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vetinari wrote:

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.

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.

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#170 Harlie
October 22 2013, 09:47PM
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looks like I went off on the DSF deep end during the game. haha emotional

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#171 Alsker
October 22 2013, 10:26PM
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@The 90's were worse (Formerly Oilers need Ogie Oglethorpe)

Thx..definitely to early to consider trading him, just hoping he finds himself soon.

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#172 Sammy
October 22 2013, 03:54PM
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LoweBlow 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!

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

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#173 acg5151
October 22 2013, 05:33PM
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Obvious game day prediction: Yeah, the Oilers are pretty much screwed

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#174 YFC Prez
October 22 2013, 06:22PM
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Edit. I phone double post again

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#175 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 06:44PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

I have no idea what Rollie is doing these days but I always though he would be a great goalie coach. That man had more focus than mr miagee.

Dubnyk could sure use some more focus.Just not sure you can teach that.

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#176 socaldave
October 22 2013, 06:53PM
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Atta boy, Yak! Throws a hit and draws a penalty. Gotta have one here, boys!

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#177 BingBong
October 22 2013, 06:57PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

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

First one was five-hole was it not? He looked slow getting over. Second one was a nice shot no doubt, but that leads me to my problem with Dubnyk: if he's not in position to get in front of the puck, he's not saving it. When is the last time he made a reflex trapper save? He's the opposite of Fuhr.

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#178 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 06:59PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

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

That is true but are you willing to wait another four years till Dubnyk is 31?

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#179 Spydyr
October 22 2013, 07:04PM
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Oilers are within in one.I see a weak goal in their future.

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#180 LoweBlow
October 22 2013, 07:26PM
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Dare I become optimistic?

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