GDB 11.0: OVIE ON FIRE

Jason Gregor
October 24 2013 12:56PM

Alex Ovechkin is my favourite player to watch in the NHL. I loved his "hot stick" celebration after he scored 50 goals for the 3rd time in his career, and right now he's scoring goals more frequently than everyone, including Steven Stamkos.

Ovechkin has 9 goals in 9 games this season, and 31 in his last 30 games dating back to last year. After scoring 32 goals in 2011 and 38 in 2012, many wrote Ovechkin had lost his offensive flair and had become too predictable.

Adam Oates became the coach of the Capitals and he convinced Ovechkin he could be more productive on the right wing, after playing the previous seven NHL seasons on the left side.

Oates moved Ovechkin to the right wing last year, and after some early struggles and adjustments, Ovechkin has returned to his elite scoring ways.

If you think 30 games is too short of a sample size to illustrate Ovechkin's dominant goal scoring ability, here's some more proof.

Since entering the NHL in 2005/2006 Ovechkin has scored 380 goals. The next closest is Ilya Kovalchuk with 309. Jarome Iginla and Dany Heatley are tied for 3rd most with 280 goals. In the previous eight seasons Ovechkin has scored 100 more goals than every player, except one.

What about Steven Stamkos you ask?

Stamkos is also an elite goal scorer, and since he entered the league, 2008/2009, he and Ovechkin are equally dangerous.Ovechkin has outscored him 217-213, and that four goal lead is due to a 9-5 Ovechkin advantage this season.

To be fair, if you exclude Stamkos' rookie season he has outscored Ovechkin the past four seasons. They are clearly the elite goal scorers in the game.

Iif you were one who wrote off Ovechkin, many of you scoffed at me when I said the Oilers should trade for him last February, you might want to reconsider your stance.

OVIE VS. YAKUPOV

Yakupov isn't going to be like Ovechkin, mainly because he isn't 6'3" and 230 pounds, but he has the potential to be a dangerous scorer like him.

It is interesting to note that Oates convinced Ovechkin to switch wings last season and go from his off-wing to the right side.Dallas Eakins has moved Yakupov from his off-wing to his natural left-side and he's hoping for the same results.

Keep in mind it took Ovechkin, a proven NHL scorer, 20 games to adjust to the new wing. The Oilers and Yakupov will need to be patient as he learns to play the left side.

Ovechkin admitted that he wanted to switch back to the left side early last year, but Oates convinced him to stick with it. Today, Ovechkin says he feels more comfortable on the right side than he ever did on the left. 

LINEUP

Marc Arcobello continues to shine. He is only the 3rd rookie in the past 20 years to score ten points in the first ten games of his rookie season. Sidney Crosby had 12 points in 2005, while Patrick Kane had ten. Arcobello has ten assists, and while he did play one game last season, this is considered his rookie year.

He's off to a great start. I don't expect him to produce like Kane or Crosby for the rest of the season, but if he continues to play the way he has, in both ends of the rink, he will be a constant contributor in the lineup.

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

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

Dubnyk

The Capitals have a big skilled group of forwards:

Johansson-Backstrom-Ovechkin
Erat-Laich-Brouwer
Chimera-Grabovski-Ward
Volpatti-Fehr-Wilson

Alzner-Carlson
Schmidt-Green
Erskine-Oleksy

Holtby

Smid and Petry will see a lot of Ovechkin tonight. "He is very difficult to contain. He's big, strong and one of the few skilled guys who likes to play physical," said Petry.

QUICK HITS

  • The Oilers should be able to generate a lot of chances tonight. The Capitals have allowed 34.3 shots/game (26th most) thus far, but the Capitals are also 10th in shots for, 31.4/game. Adam Oates stated he wants his team to be better defensively, but so far that hasn't happened.
     
  • Ovechkin has 5-3-8 in six games vs. the Oilers. His best game against the Oilers came on December 19th, 2009. Ovechkin potted two goals and an assist in the third period of a 4-2 comeback victory for the Capitals.
     
  • What makes Ovechkin such dangerous as a scorer is his ability to get off a hard shot from anywhere around his body. If a pass is behind him, in front of him, in his skates or close to his body, he is able to adjust his body positioning to get a shot off with velocity. His release point can change from shot to shot.
     
  • Devan Dubnyk has never faced Ovechkin. Tonight is his first chance to try and shut down one of the game's best snipers. He jokingly said he was excited and nervous at the same time.
     
  • Dubnyk told me the one adjustment he made after the first four games is that he is now coming out to the top of the crease to get set. If he does sink back, he is still out of his net more than he was in the first four games.

LOOKING AHEAD...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers pick up their third straight win with a 4-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Former Oiler Jason Chimera scores.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After scoring only two goals in the first nine games, the Oilers blueline continues their recent hot-streak with two more. Petry and Smid scored in Montreal, and tonight Anton Belov gets his first NHL goal and Petry pots his 3rd of the season.

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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#1 I tried it at home
October 24 2013, 01:02PM
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Well Im fairly sure Yak and Belov will be fired up to play Ovechkin. Hopefully they dont stand there gazing at him in awe. Heres hoping the Russkies on our team have a great night, and thiers DO NOT

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#2 They're $hittie
October 24 2013, 01:07PM
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Wonder how Crosby would compare to the two if he were consistently healthy?

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#3 Biscuite
October 24 2013, 01:07PM
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Remember when you balked at trading the #1 overall pick for Subban?

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#4 Mac962
October 24 2013, 01:12PM
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Well, i really hope Mr Yak decides to show up one of these days. He is now playing with elite linemates, there are no more excuses. Look at a less talented Sean Monahan playing with lesser linemates.

Looks like Glen X is not doing so well in Cowtown any longer and the flame faithful are fed up. Sure would be nice to have him back here. He is a quality bottom 6. Wont happen though.

Come on Oil- its time we won one Big. 5-2 Oil, Perron with a hatty. Something about him, awesome trade, he is talented , shifty, and does not give a crap and will be in your face. We need 2-3 more Perrons only slighty bigger.

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#5 Brettish
October 24 2013, 01:25PM
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3rd player in 20 years? What about Hertl, rookie THIS year, and has 10 points in 9 games.

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#6 Todd
October 24 2013, 01:27PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Wonder how Crosby would compare to the two if he were consistently healthy?

If you go on a goals per game basis over each entire career they come out at: OV = 0.61, Stamkos = 0.55, Crosby = 0.51

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#7 Spydyr
October 24 2013, 01:32PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:Arcobello gets an apple.

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#8 tileguy
October 24 2013, 01:47PM
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OGDP - Eakins will play 1st line against 1st line, and in order to get Yak playing more defensively he will be told to shadow and shut down Ovi all game.

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#9 Alsker
October 24 2013, 01:52PM
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Spydyr wrote:

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:Arcobello gets an apple.

Well at least this would mean we dont get shut out...unless your referring to one of QSBs!! (Apple a day keeps anyone away, depending on how hard you throw it..lol)

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#10 rubbertrout
October 24 2013, 01:52PM
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Brettish wrote:

3rd player in 20 years? What about Hertl, rookie THIS year, and has 10 points in 9 games.

4 of which came in one.

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#11 madjam
October 24 2013, 01:55PM
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Fire wagon hockey tonight with little defence and poor goaltending . 7-5 Oilers .

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#12 **
October 24 2013, 02:02PM
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Perron and Ovechkin will fight.

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#13 **
October 24 2013, 02:05PM
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Sean Monahan has nine points in nine games. The flames play tonight. I say he gets at least 2 points vs Dallas.

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#14 pkam
October 24 2013, 02:12PM
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Poor RNH, he got 9 pts in 9 games and 11 pts in 11 games but just missed the 10 pts in 10 games mark.

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#15 pkam
October 24 2013, 02:21PM
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Alsker wrote:

Well at least this would mean we dont get shut out...unless your referring to one of QSBs!! (Apple a day keeps anyone away, depending on how hard you throw it..lol)

Does QSBs even need an apple to keep everyone away?

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#16 MessyEH!
October 24 2013, 02:25PM
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tileguy wrote:

OGDP - Eakins will play 1st line against 1st line, and in order to get Yak playing more defensively he will be told to shadow and shut down Ovi all game.

That would make Yak motivated. It would be eye opener for him. Ovi has really improved his defensive game. He would give Yak an education in what a seasoned vet performs like.

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#17 Oiler Al
October 24 2013, 02:26PM
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Lets hope the Oilers out skate the Capitals and play a north south game like they did in Montreal,because they wont win many puck battles along the boards. Capital's are one big team. The smallest guy on the team, under 6 ft, and 200 lbs is Grabovski, and he can be strong on the puck.

The other point is that Dubnyk as to stand on his head, to give Oilers advantage, as Capital goal tending is no that strong.

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#18 Mike Krushelnyski
October 24 2013, 02:32PM
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I was still skeptical about Arcobello up until the last 3 games or so, but it's great to see him starting to develop some confidence and start shooting the puck more.

Jason, do you see Gagner playing the wing when he comes back given Arcobello's better faceoff numbers?

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#21 Clarko
October 24 2013, 03:01PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Even before his concussions he wasn't close to the goal scorer of Ovechkin. He's a better overall player, but he isn't as good of a goal scorer.

His best year was 2010/2011 when he had 32 goals in 41 games. If he kept that pace, which he never had at any other point of his career, he would have had 64.

Crosby is a better player, but not a better goal scorer.

Crosby is the best player in the game, but it is interesting that he has never been a consistent goal scorer. He did finish 1st with 51 goals in 09/10, but other than that one season, he has never finished in the top 10 in goal scoring. Some of that has to do with injury, but in the 4 seasons where he has missed 5 games or less in a season, he has finished 1st, 12th, 14th, and 20th in goals.

Even last year when he was on fire, he only had 15 goals (56 [points) in 36 games...

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#22 Smokey
October 24 2013, 03:19PM
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I think Arcobello continues to play in the top six and can put up 60-65 points. I don't think you can move him outta that 2nd line center position or you need to. He's hardly noticeable out there, and then at the end of the night he's got two points and 60 percent in the dot.

Having Sam Gagner back is a great problem. I think he slots in as your 3rd line center playing with Yakupov. Yak will take off then. Slot Gordon as your fourth with Pitlick and whoever and start rolling four lines 5x5. I don't know about Acton as a winger, but I think he deserves to continue to play. Maybe this team will have depth after all.

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#23 Bucknuck
October 24 2013, 03:28PM
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Jason Chimera is one of those players that I was pissed off when they traded him. Big fast and gritty... and of course they traded him. I guess they really needed those draft selections, and they already had a great third line: Reasoner, Pisani, and Moreau.

But damn... we could have used him the last 8 years.

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#24 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 24 2013, 03:35PM
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Arco is blowing my mind. I never would have pegged him to have the start he did. In fact, I think I even bemoaned the idea of him on the big club this off-season. Keep him as the 2C and see how far he can take it.

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#26 westcoastoil
October 24 2013, 03:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Even before his concussions he wasn't close to the goal scorer of Ovechkin. He's a better overall player, but he isn't as good of a goal scorer.

His best year was 2010/2011 when he had 32 goals in 41 games. If he kept that pace, which he never had at any other point of his career, he would have had 64.

Crosby is a better player, but not a better goal scorer.

One of the funniest moments of the Jets 1st season back in the 'Peg was against the Caps with the entire rink chanting "Crosby's better" when OV hit the ice. Classic

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#27 Geoff
October 24 2013, 04:01PM
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Maybe we should move hall to the right wing and see what happens =D

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#28 Alsker
October 24 2013, 04:08PM
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pkam wrote:

Does QSBs even need an apple to keep everyone away?

Now,now,lets be nice, he actually reminds me of my x-wife. Just because he doesnt see things through rose colored glasses or drink Oiler flavoured Kool-aid with us doesn't mean hes all bad or always wrong. Granted there are days you'd like to string him up by his ankles and watch choke on his own blood, all-in-all I'd rather have him themn the the anti-Oiler DSF.

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#29 Craig1981
October 24 2013, 04:13PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't see why not. Can't move Gordon down. He is their best faceoff guy and defensive C...

Gagner can play wing for a few games and see how things work out.

A month ago we didn't have enough centers now we have too many.......Goes to show why drafting for need years down the road is never a good idea.

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#30 MessyEH!
October 24 2013, 04:32PM
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It is starting to look like Marcobello is eating Gagner's lunch.

I wlll start work on a new statue.

It will be of Sea biscuit; with Marcobello and Pisani on his back!

Kevin Lowes face will reside where the horses ass should be!

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#31 Mikey
October 24 2013, 04:34PM
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tileguy wrote:

OGDP - Eakins will play 1st line against 1st line, and in order to get Yak playing more defensively he will be told to shadow and shut down Ovi all game.

Not sure why the trash votes. I think it would be a good way to motivate him. Although yak would get lit up. Maybe try after yaks first couple shifts.

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#32 pkam
October 24 2013, 04:39PM
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Alsker wrote:

Now,now,lets be nice, he actually reminds me of my x-wife. Just because he doesnt see things through rose colored glasses or drink Oiler flavoured Kool-aid with us doesn't mean hes all bad or always wrong. Granted there are days you'd like to string him up by his ankles and watch choke on his own blood, all-in-all I'd rather have him themn the the anti-Oiler DSF.

I don't mind different opinions and I don't always see things through rose colored glasses. But those different opinions can be presented in a more positive way.

His negative field energy is so strong that it is much worse than a hard threw apple.

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#33 Quicksilver ballet
October 24 2013, 04:44PM
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The proverbial night off for the Capitals tonight. They'll coast through two periods and only need to play 20 minutes and grab 2 pts (hoping for a little reverse psychology here)

Are we really referring to a guy with zero goals in 10 games an offensive force to be reckoned with?

Only in Edmonton...

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#34 Mac962
October 24 2013, 04:44PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

It is starting to look like Marcobello is eating Gagner's lunch.

I wlll start work on a new statue.

It will be of Sea biscuit; with Marcobello and Pisani on his back!

Kevin Lowes face will reside where the horses ass should be!

Just curious ,

When was the last time anyone in the PAYING PUBLIC heard from Mr Kevin Lowe ? You hiding Kevin ? a person in your position should at lest once in a while address the concerned fans instead of dining with the recluse owner of ours, Life good Kevin ? Great - i am happy for you, you are so over rated always were imo. Good thing for you our owner is pretty much Duh with the business of running a hockey team. Yes, he is great with drug stores. Hockey teams are just a notch in his belt.

Go retire Kevin , please.

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#35 They're $hittie
October 24 2013, 04:49PM
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Todd wrote:

If you go on a goals per game basis over each entire career they come out at: OV = 0.61, Stamkos = 0.55, Crosby = 0.51

Thing to remember is that Ovie was 20 when he started in the NHL and Crosby was 18. Two year younger can really affect per game totals. Remember the year Crosby got the concussion he was on pace for 60 goals. He has more recently become more of a goal scorer as he got older.

Start Crosby when he is older and take away the injuries and I bet he is right there.

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#36 I-HATE-BALLET
October 24 2013, 04:51PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The proverbial night off for the Capitals tonight. They'll coast through two periods and only need to play 20 minutes and grab 2 pts (hoping for a little reverse psychology here)

Are we really referring to a guy with zero goals in 10 games an offensive force to be reckoned with?

Only in Edmonton...

Hey Dick , And where do you think we would be without his 10 assists ? Give your dumb a$$ head a shake. You are quick alright... quick to look like an idiot.

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#37 God
October 24 2013, 04:53PM
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I would like to know Arco's Corsi. It's true he's bary noticeable, but his numbers are amazing.

Think he'd bite on a 5 year $8 mil contract??

Just dreaming...

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#38 They're $hittie
October 24 2013, 04:56PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Even before his concussions he wasn't close to the goal scorer of Ovechkin. He's a better overall player, but he isn't as good of a goal scorer.

His best year was 2010/2011 when he had 32 goals in 41 games. If he kept that pace, which he never had at any other point of his career, he would have had 64.

Crosby is a better player, but not a better goal scorer.

looking at Ovie numbers you can say he is a 45-50 goal score every year if you round out the numbers or discard the outliers.

What I am getting at is take a way the injury years and go to the year crosby really took the next step and it appears that crosby will be a consistent 45-50 goal scorer going forward.

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#39 Bucknuck
October 24 2013, 04:58PM
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In 2007 when Gogs, Gags and Nilsson were lighting it up in that playoff drive, who played centre? Was it Cogs or Gagner?

If it was Cogliano then Gagner already has some experience on the wing, but I can't remember.

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#40 DSF
October 24 2013, 05:01PM
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pkam wrote:

I don't mind different opinions and I don't always see things through rose colored glasses. But those different opinions can be presented in a more positive way.

His negative field energy is so strong that it is much worse than a hard threw apple.

Would you like a little chin music Sparky?

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#41 MessyEH!
October 24 2013, 05:05PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

In 2007 when Gogs, Gags and Nilsson were lighting it up in that playoff drive, who played centre? Was it Cogs or Gagner?

If it was Cogliano then Gagner already has some experience on the wing, but I can't remember.

Gagner played wing after his wrist was sliced by a skate.

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#42 Quicksilver ballet
October 24 2013, 05:09PM
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Whoever knows this Dick fellow, could you let him know someone here really appears to be angry with him.

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#43 Bucknuck
October 24 2013, 05:13PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

Gagner played wing after his wrist was sliced by a skate.

I totally forgot about that... It's interesting that that was one of his best stretches in the NHL. I wonder if he SHOULD be on the wing, considering.

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#44 Wax Man Riley
October 24 2013, 05:14PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

In 2007 when Gogs, Gags and Nilsson were lighting it up in that playoff drive, who played centre? Was it Cogs or Gagner?

If it was Cogliano then Gagner already has some experience on the wing, but I can't remember.

Gags played on the wing that year.

Cogs was the C.

Also Gagner's best year.

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#45 pkam
October 24 2013, 05:26PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I totally forgot about that... It's interesting that that was one of his best stretches in the NHL. I wonder if he SHOULD be on the wing, considering.

I'll will not consider moving any center to the wing at this moment until we have better depth at center.

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#46 Dog Train
October 24 2013, 05:33PM
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This is the benefit of having every team play in every building. Oiler fans can watch guys like Crosby and Ovechkin live every season.

This should be fast paced game. Neither team is very effective defensively. The difference being that Dubnyk has found his game the last few games and Holtby is still searching for it. I'm saying 5-3 Oilers.

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#47 Harlie
October 24 2013, 05:34PM
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I'd rather see MacT move Arco and + for a 1D than any of the fab 5. Keep it rollin' Arcs!

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#48 Mikey
October 24 2013, 05:37PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

looking at Ovie numbers you can say he is a 45-50 goal score every year if you round out the numbers or discard the outliers.

What I am getting at is take a way the injury years and go to the year crosby really took the next step and it appears that crosby will be a consistent 45-50 goal scorer going forward.

Ok then take away Ovi two "bad" seasons. What do the totals look like then? What ifs should not be used when trying to compare players.

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#49 Walter Sobchak
October 24 2013, 05:47PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Gags played on the wing that year.

Cogs was the C.

Also Gagner's best year.

Also spells the end for Yakupov.

The Oilers are convinced Arco can play centre they will anoint him the the new Pissani give Gagner Yakupov spot and trade Yakupov for " Depth" throughout the line up.

That's what I expect from the brain trust running this show.

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#50 Alsker
October 24 2013, 05:52PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Also spells the end for Yakupov.

The Oilers are convinced Arco can play centre they will anoint him the the new Pissani give Gagner Yakupov spot and trade Yakupov for " Depth" throughout the line up.

That's what I expect from the brain trust running this show.

Damn, didn't think anything this team could do would make me drink more BUT that idea is actually possible...hopefully it leads to Hemmer trade instead.

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