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 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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#52 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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#53 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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#54 Quicksilver ballet
October 25 2013, 12:27AM
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This debacle looks really good on Eakins. Singling out Yakupov for poor play, look at the mess Dallas has created now. Give the Sabres anything they want for their first selection in 2015, they must be the odds on favorite in the McDavid sweepstakes.

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#55 madjam
October 25 2013, 08:58AM
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Oilers paying well considering . They just are not a good team . Results show , even when they are playing well , they still mainly lose , all excuses aside .It's up to Katz to fix this lost ship .

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#56 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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#57 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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#58 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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#59 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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#60 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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#61 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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#62 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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#63 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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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 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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#69 Oiler Al
October 25 2013, 09:17AM
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No Capital player including their stars, played more than 15 min. for the entire game. Yet, Oilers top guns played in the 20+ plus min. range. No wonder Caps, had more steam in the third period. Both teams had the same travel schedule.

Have to say this but their goalie out played Dubnyk.

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#70 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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#71 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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#72 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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#73 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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#74 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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#75 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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#76 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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#77 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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#78 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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#79 oilerman53
October 24 2013, 11:01PM
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It will likely take one goal to open the flood gates for a player like Yakupov, his dynamic all world skill can only be shut out for so long really. Remember the manor slump Eberle had last year? Blowing wide open chances and good players find a way to get out of slumps.

Nashville would never ever take a Russian in a trade for Weber, best bet is a package centered around Hall. The Oilers really could use a stud defenseman and getting the number one dman in the league would make this team an instant contender. I didnt see a whole lot of holes to the Oilers game tonight believe it or not. Its the old cliche that the bounces did not go their way.This is a weird schedule for them, right back on the road for a couple out west. You could see that they are adapting to the system Eakins wants to play, you dont keep a team with this much firepower silent for too long. Petry had a whale of a game tonight.

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#80 Reg Dunlop
October 25 2013, 12:34AM
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oilerman53 wrote:

It will likely take one goal to open the flood gates for a player like Yakupov, his dynamic all world skill can only be shut out for so long really. Remember the manor slump Eberle had last year? Blowing wide open chances and good players find a way to get out of slumps.

Nashville would never ever take a Russian in a trade for Weber, best bet is a package centered around Hall. The Oilers really could use a stud defenseman and getting the number one dman in the league would make this team an instant contender. I didnt see a whole lot of holes to the Oilers game tonight believe it or not. Its the old cliche that the bounces did not go their way.This is a weird schedule for them, right back on the road for a couple out west. You could see that they are adapting to the system Eakins wants to play, you dont keep a team with this much firepower silent for too long. Petry had a whale of a game tonight.

Are you on glue? An instant contender with the addition of Weber? Not only would the deal see LOTS of talent headed to Nashville when we don't have a lot to spare... even if Weber was added to the mix with no subtractions the oil is a lotto team. Time to consider whether the 1st overalls are part, a big part, of the problem. Tough luck to suck at the wrong time, missing out on Tavares and then Mackinnon.

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#81 bazmagoo
October 25 2013, 12:41AM
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Here's a suggestion for Oilersnation - Yakupov and Gagner to Columbus for Ryan Johansen and Ryan Murray. Pretty good fit for both teams, a #1 pick and a #6 pick for a #2 pick and a #4 pick.

Johansen is steadily progressing as a tall, big but not physical, sound defensive center. Ryan Murray is a great defense partner (extremely sound defensively) for Justin Schultz now, and both can develop together.

Personally I think that would be a "bold", yet ultimately sound deal for the Oilers.

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#82 tileguy
October 25 2013, 09:42AM
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I'm just glad I didn't shell out a few hundres dollars for me and the kid/wife/guest to watch this. Hey Katz, what are you and Kevin gonna charge for a seat in rexall2?

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#83 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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#84 **
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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#85 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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#86 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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#87 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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#88 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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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#92 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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#93 NsxZero
October 25 2013, 07:24AM
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@Reg Dunlop

That's what me and my friends were saying at the game yesterday. We sure chose a bad time to suck. Imagine if we had an Ovechkin over any of our first overalls.

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#94 Heisenberg
October 25 2013, 07:45AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Here's a suggestion for Oilersnation - Yakupov and Gagner to Columbus for Ryan Johansen and Ryan Murray. Pretty good fit for both teams, a #1 pick and a #6 pick for a #2 pick and a #4 pick.

Johansen is steadily progressing as a tall, big but not physical, sound defensive center. Ryan Murray is a great defense partner (extremely sound defensively) for Justin Schultz now, and both can develop together.

Personally I think that would be a "bold", yet ultimately sound deal for the Oilers.

Highly doubt jackets interested in another highly drafted russian. They got burned by filatov already

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#95 time to change
October 25 2013, 08:53AM
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The game last night was good for both team in terms of performance but the Caps were just a better team. Its time to make trades to become a better team we have the ability do so with so much talent, sure it would be sad to see some of these guys go. Lets say Hall was on the sharks,im sure he would be the top scorer in the league, but as it is now we make other team feel better they come in and we have 3 first overalls and teams win and there managers are thinking that 15 overall pick was not bad at all.

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#96 Wonger
October 25 2013, 09:20AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This team sucks!!!

I'm a huge Oiler fan, but I’m tired of watching the team get absolutely run into the ground night after night.

To make it worse the coaching staff is completely being out coached night after night!!

This team is run by clowns who are living in the 80’s and not one has any idea how to build a contender!! Why is MSM not running these clowns down!!

It starts at the top!!!

Howson fired for doing nothing in Columbus.

MacTavish – fired then re-hired???

Kevin Lowe – 7 years and counting and had the audacity to lump Oiler fans into two criteria, only to follow that up with an irrelevant I’ve won 6 rings! The ego on this man is baffling?

Somebody has to stop this madness!!!

This is who I would keep on the Oilers.

RNH – Hall – Eberle – Perron – Gordon The rest of this team needs to be washed!!

What about BIG STEVE MACINTYRE? Get out from under the desk keyboarding tuff guy!

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#97 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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#98 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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#99 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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#100 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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