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 

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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#51 DSF
October 24 2013, 06:00PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Speculation today that the Predators should trade Weber.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/53972-Should-Preds-trade-Shea-Weber-The-answer-may-surprise-you.html?

The Oilers should trade Hall, Marincin and the 2014 1st round pick and get this handled.

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#52 madjam
October 24 2013, 06:04PM
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Can Marc "St.Louie" Arcobello beat out A.Belov for the Calder this year ? Stay tuned .

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#53 DSF
October 24 2013, 06:06PM
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madjam wrote:

Can Marc "St.Louie" Arcobello beat out A.Belov for the Calder this year ? Stay tuned .

None of the above.

Sean Monahan will win it going away.

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#54 madjam
October 24 2013, 06:17PM
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MADJAM INSIGHT : Philly needs to make moves and they have nothing on the farm to be honest . Whom will the Oilers get from that fire sale and have to give up little in return ? They need prospects , and we are loaded with them in comparison .

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#55 TeddyTurnbuckle
October 24 2013, 06:32PM
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I really like Tom Wilson, he would be a great fit on the oilers. Interesting how he plays tonight.

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#56 Serious Gord
October 24 2013, 06:36PM
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DSF wrote:

Speculation today that the Predators should trade Weber.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/53972-Should-Preds-trade-Shea-Weber-The-answer-may-surprise-you.html?

The Oilers should trade Hall, Marincin and the 2014 1st round pick and get this handled.

Merits of the trade aside, does EDM have the cap room to make that trade.

And regarding the merits, while I am a big fan of weber I think he has an albatross contract in the medium to along term.

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#57 Fresh Mess
October 24 2013, 06:38PM
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Remember when Potter looked like an all-star the first 20 games a couple seasons ago?

I wouldn't trade for Ovechkin, as I am interested in wining the Stanley Cup.

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#58 westcoastoil
October 24 2013, 07:00PM
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DSF wrote:

Speculation today that the Predators should trade Weber.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/53972-Should-Preds-trade-Shea-Weber-The-answer-may-surprise-you.html?

The Oilers should trade Hall, Marincin and the 2014 1st round pick and get this handled.

I don't think that gets you Weber

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#59 Rocket
October 24 2013, 07:07PM
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I'm pretty excited to see Ovechkin vs. Yakupov. I bet Yak is jacked to play Ovie so it should be good to see.

Oilers need a good start to this game to set the pace. The last thing they want is to be running around trying to catch The Capitals and taking weak hooking & tripping penalties. The Caps powerplay is too good.

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#60 Harlie
October 24 2013, 07:08PM
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@Fresh Mess

Easy there FreshT. Potter is no Ovechkin just like Reasoner was no Sakic.

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#61 Alsker
October 24 2013, 07:11PM
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DSF wrote:

None of the above.

Sean Monahan will win it going away.

Really, did you pick a fLame jusrt to get xtra "trashes". Personally, considering they're all western teams I would have to guess its Hertl early on.

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#62 Oilersman
October 24 2013, 07:13PM
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I was actually the first to read this comment or at least there was 0 comments at the time but I didn't reply because of how long it takes for me to type from my phone. Also my non witty remark of trying to incorporate a fisting of some player was sure to be removed anyway. But to the article, which of our players could possibly turn out to be an Ovie type? Or do we have one of them but we don't know it yet until he is traded? Idk. Go Oil.

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#63 Quicksilver ballet
October 24 2013, 07:18PM
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DSF wrote:

Speculation today that the Predators should trade Weber.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/53972-Should-Preds-trade-Shea-Weber-The-answer-may-surprise-you.html?

The Oilers should trade Hall, Marincin and the 2014 1st round pick and get this handled.

Anyone not wearing rose colored glasses could see that one coming. We've been talking here for over a year now about it. It was never a matter of if, it was only a matter of when.

Those who felt the Preds had too much (27 million to date) into Shea Weber, could soon see their arse handed to them. Strudwick, Willis and Gregor.

Yakupov, Gagner and Klefbom should do it. May need that first rounder and Hemsky to bring in Couturier as well. Weber anchoring the blueline, along with Nurse and yet another top 5 pick next summer, that's a pound of cure if you ask me. Succeeding while sucking, well, Lowe wrote the book on that one.

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#64 westcoastoil
October 24 2013, 07:35PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Anyone not wearing rose colored glasses could see that one coming. We've been talking here for over a year now about it. It was never a matter of if, it was only a matter of when.

Those who felt the Preds had too much (27 million to date) into Shea Weber, could soon see their arse handed to them. Strudwick, Willis and Gregor.

Yakupov, Gagner and Klefbom should do it. May need that first rounder and Hemsky to bring in Couturier as well. Weber anchoring the blueline, along with Nurse and yet another top 5 pick next summer, that's a pound of cure if you ask me. Succeeding while sucking, well, Lowe wrote the book on that one.

Gagner has a NTC. If MacT moves him without his signing off on it whether it's officially kicked in or not, good luck signing FAs or getting your players to ever trust mgmt. again

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#65 Alsker
October 24 2013, 07:35PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Holy, MacT said "bold" not 'BOLD!!!!", my only concern would be we give up a lot of offense(supposedly), maybe xtra D prospect + vet(Grebs/Fedun/Larsson/Belov) instead of Gagner.

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#66 Quicksilver ballet
October 24 2013, 07:47PM
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westcoastoil wrote:

Gagner has a NTC. If MacT moves him without his signing off on it whether it's officially kicked in or not, good luck signing FAs or getting your players to ever trust mgmt. again

That NTC doesn't kick in till next season. He wasn't eligible for one because of his age. He can be moved in the first year. He'd be upset with the MacTavish's handshake agreement he wouldn't be moved during this first season, but business is business.

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#67 Quicksilver ballet
October 24 2013, 07:53PM
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Alsker wrote:

Holy, MacT said "bold" not 'BOLD!!!!", my only concern would be we give up a lot of offense(supposedly), maybe xtra D prospect + vet(Grebs/Fedun/Larsson/Belov) instead of Gagner.

The names may change, but the best player in the deal would be coming this way. What a role model for Nurse.

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#68 Alsker
October 24 2013, 07:55PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The names may change, but the best player in the deal would be coming this way. What a role model for Nurse.

No arguement there, does management have the stones to at least throw the offer at the Preds.

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#69 DSF
October 24 2013, 07:55PM
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Alsker wrote:

Really, did you pick a fLame jusrt to get xtra "trashes". Personally, considering they're all western teams I would have to guess its Hertl early on.

Monahan is the real deal.

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#70 Alsker
October 24 2013, 08:03PM
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DSF wrote:

Monahan is the real deal.

He looks good for sure, truly is way too early to start picking Calder candidates. Besides hard to give Cowtown any glimpes of hope, lol.

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#71 Rocket
October 24 2013, 08:10PM
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@DSF

Totally. I like Nurse but I really wanted The Oilers to snag Monahan. Would have helped the centre depth problem. The Oilers just HAD to win those last two games of the season (for pride or something) and finish ahead of The Flames.

The season was lost already so they wanted those points? Sigh....

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#72 Alsker
October 24 2013, 08:13PM
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tough play by Yak on Ovies goal, went right by him charging to the point( I assume), wasn't going to mention his 1 on 3 attempt. Well he does have his feet moving tonight, a step in the right direction.

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#73 Newj
October 24 2013, 08:25PM
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Alsker wrote:

tough play by Yak on Ovies goal, went right by him charging to the point( I assume), wasn't going to mention his 1 on 3 attempt. Well he does have his feet moving tonight, a step in the right direction.

Its a 1 on 3 if you choose to make it that way. He had team mates to dish to but he elected to try to go around all 3.

No wonder Galchenyuk is working out well in Montreal, he must have made Yak look good in Junior.

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#74 Poolanov
October 24 2013, 08:48PM
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I think I've figured out who the Oilers should send down to OKC when Gagner comes back. RYAN NUGENT HOPKINS ... BRUTAL!!!!!!!

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#75 Poolanov
October 24 2013, 08:59PM
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If that wasn't goalie interference what is??? Another minus for wimpy...sigh

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#76 Harlie
October 24 2013, 09:01PM
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Wow, a lot of long faces and a few boo's in the barn tonight. Who's wearing this one??

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#77 Zamboni Driver
October 24 2013, 09:30PM
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@Rocket

Okay so I get being an Oiler fan.

But let's be really REALLY clear. This game has NOTHING to do with Ovechkin v. Yakupov.

One of those is a Hart trophy winner.

The other is a 20 year old boy.

The media asking Ovie about Yakupov today (heard on Gregor's show) should be embarrassed.

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#78 srbuhr
October 24 2013, 09:34PM
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Ouch - yak is really hurting the first line. Until he starts moving his feet he really needs to sit.

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#79 spliff
October 24 2013, 09:34PM
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Why am I surprised. I really believed we would win this game, against a mid-level opponent at home. Oh, but I forgot, the Oil never win the first game home after a road trip. What was was thinking? So tired of this crap. Oilers need to string some wins together. Calgary loss today means we can close the gap, but its the same old sh*t and dance I've been watching, over and over again. So frustrating, why the hell do I bother. I think I need an exorcism to rid me of my Oiler fan spirit.

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#80 Serious Gord
October 24 2013, 09:35PM
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With a loss tonight and an LA win the oil will be eight points out of a playoff spot. Three games left in the month. They need to win them all...

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#81 Time Travelling Sean
October 24 2013, 09:42PM
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BORRRRRIINNNNNNNNNNNG.

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#82 BingBong
October 24 2013, 09:48PM
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I thought we looked great in the 1st. Since then? Meh. Another no-show for the pp.

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#83 Asian on Oilers Nation
October 24 2013, 09:50PM
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Can we tank for Connor McDavid? One more

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#84 Asian on Oilers Nation
October 24 2013, 09:50PM
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Can we tank for Connor McDavid? One more year.........

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#85 JJ
October 24 2013, 09:51PM
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Send Yak to OKC. He's been garbage. Give the youtube sensation his spot for the time being.

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#86 Zamboni Driver
October 24 2013, 09:51PM
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Men v. Boys.

Again.

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#87 BingBong
October 24 2013, 09:55PM
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I'm thinking Perron on the 1st with Ebs and Nuge? Yak's bringing down that line; play always dies with him.

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#88 Zamboni Driver
October 24 2013, 09:55PM
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Louie and Kevin smell a COMEBACK.

Hey Kev, how much in "Regulation time"??!!

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#89 Zamboni Driver
October 24 2013, 10:03PM
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NUGENT HOPKINS IS A STAR?

The guy who fell over his skateboard when Backstrom put it in the net?

Good lord. I get that every team has this, but the ridiculous cheerleading on the part of the 'Sportsnet' (read: Oilers) employees is a joke.

Can't imagine them keeping Spec around much longer. He says...like...critical things. Geno never knows what the hell to do or say.

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#90 Serious Gord
October 24 2013, 10:04PM
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Played good in first two - got smothered again in the third. Coaching to blame?

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#91 BingBong
October 24 2013, 10:09PM
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And Perron still the only guy willing to muck it up out there. Need WAY more of that.

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#92 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
October 24 2013, 10:10PM
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Seems to me that the pp excelled under Krueger. Too early to write of Eakins I am sure.

Have to question every decision from upper management right now cause it is the suits who should be wearing these losses.

just sayin

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#93 dougtheslug
October 24 2013, 10:11PM
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Ouch! Yak, Eberle, RNH combine for -12 and 0 points. If Yak doesn't show up soon I'm thinking we have drafted our own Alexander Daigle.

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#94 FireKLowe
October 24 2013, 10:11PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

NUGENT HOPKINS IS A STAR?

The guy who fell over his skateboard when Backstrom put it in the net?

Good lord. I get that every team has this, but the ridiculous cheerleading on the part of the 'Sportsnet' (read: Oilers) employees is a joke.

Can't imagine them keeping Spec around much longer. He says...like...critical things. Geno never knows what the hell to do or say.

Also have you noticed Sportsnet never ever puts the camera on MacT or Lowe to capture their reactions after the Oilers get scored on like TSN or CBC do? You know who's wagging whose tail ...

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#95 srbuhr
October 24 2013, 10:15PM
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@Serious Gord

Hard to blame coaching after such few games but defensive zone system isn't working. The question is do u give it twenty games of which you lose 12-15 or do you simplify the system. I still can't figure out why we aren't covering the slot or the points. Regardless of the system keeping the puck away from these zones is a good idea. And it's time to penalize players for toe drag after toe drag. Shoot at the net and crash it. It is time to play hockey not non contact shinny. Finally the fourth line was very good and should have played much more, RNH, Ebs much less and yak essentially none after the second goal.

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#96 madjam
October 24 2013, 10:23PM
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We are not that bad , but not good enough to win many games again this season by the looks of it . Despite new Gm and coach we still are no better than last few seasons overall . Young stars are just not progressing as we had hoped they would . Occasional glimpses of hope just not good enough to translate into victories .

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#97 cubsfan
October 24 2013, 10:24PM
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As Bill Parcells once said, 'you are what your record says you are'...losing hope.....and i'm a Cubs fan

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#98 YFC Prez
October 24 2013, 10:27PM
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Argh....I'm watching my favorite oiler coast, not even coast, your floating Mr Nail Yakupov.

I know that you will come out of it and get back to that player I fell into a deep borderline disturbing man crush on last year.

2 things,

1... move your feet! Good things always happen....It's a hockey story as old as time.

2...Eakins is not Krueger, he will not Cuddle you. Man up a little, earn your spot and play hard. Your too good for this BS.

#Never going to be read by Nail

#Writing to him anyway

#It's more fun this way

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#99 Devolution
October 24 2013, 10:45PM
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I actually think they played pretty well tonight. They dominated the first period, were even in the second.

Sometimes you just run into a hot goaltender. Things are looking OK. They will start getting some breaks soon.

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#100 Devolution
October 24 2013, 10:47PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Argh....I'm watching my favorite oiler coast, not even coast, your floating Mr Nail Yakupov.

I know that you will come out of it and get back to that player I fell into a deep borderline disturbing man crush on last year.

2 things,

1... move your feet! Good things always happen....It's a hockey story as old as time.

2...Eakins is not Krueger, he will not Cuddle you. Man up a little, earn your spot and play hard. Your too good for this BS.

#Never going to be read by Nail

#Writing to him anyway

#It's more fun this way

Cuddle you? I am pretty sure Yak doesn't want to be cuddled.

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