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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#51 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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#52 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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#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 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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 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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#58 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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#59 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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#60 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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#61 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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#63 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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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 Ari Gold
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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#68 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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#69 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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#70 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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#71 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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#72 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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#73 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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#74 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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#75 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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#76 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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#77 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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#78 Time Travelling Sean
October 24 2013, 09:42PM
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BORRRRRIINNNNNNNNNNNG.

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#79 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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#80 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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#81 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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#82 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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#83 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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#84 dougtheslug
October 24 2013, 11:06PM
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Kevin Lowe knows something about winning. That's why the rebuild will feature Connor McDavid as it's centerpiece.

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#85 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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#86 bazmagoo
October 25 2013, 12:53AM
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Also, personally I think we need Justin Schultz on the bottom pairing for at least a season or two. Belov and Ference are going to have to take on 2nd pairing duties, with Smid and Petry as the 1st. Hope none of them get injured this season, or we are completely hooped.

Can anyone tell me what the hell happened to our powerplay? 3rd in the league in 2011-2012, 8th in the league 2012-2013, now 24th in the league. To me, this falls squarely on Eakins.

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#87 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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#88 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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#89 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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#91 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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#92 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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#93 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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#94 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 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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#98 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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#99 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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#100 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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