GDB 13.0: Nothing could possiblie go wrong

Jonathan Willis
October 27 2013 09:08AM

Tonight’s game features a tired Oilers team that lost a one-goal game to Phoenix last night against a rested Los Angeles squad that when last seen trounced those same Coyotes by a 7-4 score on Thursday.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Lineup

There has been no official word on lineup changes yet, but up front there are two items of note. First, Tyler Pitlick left on crutches after getting caught awkwardly by a hip check; hopefully any injury is less serious than the knee injury that sidelined him back in January. Second, Anton Lander was scratched by Oklahoma City last night, so it seems probable that he will be in the lineup for tonight’s game (to which I would imagine Linus Omark’s reaction is a mixture of happiness for his good friend and ‘I just scored FOUR GOALS in ONE GAME’).

Update: The Lander news is official.

With at least one probable lineup shift, I’m just going to guess here and update later once we get official word. I don’t imagine we’ll see major changes to the forward unit, and I’d guess that Nick Schultz draws in as fresh legs on the blue line.

  • F1. Nail Yakupov – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
  • F2. David Perron – Mark Arcobello – Ales Hemsky
  • F3. Ben Eager – Boyd Gordon – Ryan Jones
  • F4. Luke Gazdic – Will Acton – Anton Lander
  • D1. Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
  • D2. Anton Belov – Justin Schultz
  • D3. Andrew Ference – Nich Schultz

Devan Dubnyk will almost certainly start.

Update: I still think Dubnyk starts, but this is interesting.

Coaching & Signs of the Apocalypse

I knew, what with all the talk of firing coaches and whatnot, that things were getting awfully grim. But I didn’t realize how low spirits were until I started noticing the reaction to DSF’s comments:

  • -8/+25 on a comment saying the Oilers had mostly played Eastern Conference “cream puffs”
  • -6/+18 on a comment saying Vancouver had all of Edmonton’s adversity but was playing great
  • -4/+12 on a comment agreeing that Dallas Eakins was in over his head
  • -4/+11 on a comment extolling the Canucks’ virtues

I won’t argue against the Canucks – they have handled some tough circumstances extremely well, and while like the Oilers they have mostly played ‘Eastern Conference cream puffs’ (8 of 13 games) they have also had a road-heavy schedule early. They just went 5-1-1 on a seven-game road-trip, which is insanely good.

What I will say is that it’s way too make Eakins the scapegoat, something that was being done in the comments here yesterday. Certainly, he’s done things I haven’t liked – he was awfully quick to haul last year’s leading goal-scorer out of the lineup, rotating a bunch of skilled first-time penalty killers into the PK all at the same time hasn’t worked well, and the Gazdic-Acton-Brown fourth line never appealed to me – but isn’t it abundantly clear at this point that firing the coach isn’t the solution?

Besides, we’ve seen this play out in reverse before. When Pat Quinn came in, the Oilers jumped out to a 6-2-1 start – one built on getting outshot badly but posting insane percentages. Quinn turned out to be probably the worst head coach in team history. This is the reverse situation: the Oilers have built a losing streak based on decent shot totals and terrible goaltending. I doubt it lasts either.

I can’t definitively say that Eakins is the solution to the problem, but the problem definitely predates his arrival.

Predictions

Game day prediction: 3-0 Los Angeles.

Obvious game day prediction: Mark Arcobello will take three shots that, while all scoring chances, somehow catch the edge of a pad or bounce off the outside of the post or something like that.

Not-so-obvious game day prediction: In the third period, with the score still 2-0, Nail Yakupov will get a glorious opportunity from the right faceoff circle. Jonathan Quick will flash the leather, then immediately skate to centre ice with his arms stretched out in the air before sliding to his knees at the middle of the ice. Don Cherry will chuckle as he’s playing the tape of it on Coach’s Corner next Saturday.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#201 cubcfan
October 27 2013, 10:04PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Shultz pushed frattin. Oilers got a big break.

....sheesh....you should be negative gord....quit being a wet blanket we found a goalie......maybe, sorta....

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#202 In need of Oiler rehab
October 28 2013, 09:00AM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

It is time the fans start boycotting games and demand Kevin Lowe be fired. I want to see Kevin Lowe airlifted out of Edmonton by helicopter because they abused fans have had enough.

With 13,000 season tickets sold and paid for it does not matter if the rink empty, they have our money already. If I (we) cancel the tickets they would be swiped up in a heartbeat as there is a huge waiting list for tickets in this city. Hockey is part of the culture in this city and for the people saying to simply boycott... Good luck with that. We are hooked and they know it. How else can you explain years and years of sellout crowds in an old ass building watching subpar hockey on most nights. 30th, 30th, 29th, and 24th place finish. The Oilers do not deserve us. But we are addicted and the Oilers are our pushers.

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#205 onlyoil
October 27 2013, 09:55AM
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What is sad to me is, we aren't even in Nov yet and the playoffs are not realistically achievable. Do you believe in miracles?

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#206 Smokey
October 27 2013, 10:02AM
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JW, at what point do the Oilers give Bachman a shot to see if he's got the fire to steal a game or two. Every year some team decimated by bad goaltending or injuries calls up an AHL goalie who may steal a game or something.

I think you bring up Bachman and say here's your damn shot. He can't be any worse then this tandem.

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#210 Butters
October 27 2013, 11:03AM
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The Oilers have scored more, or just as many goals as 26 other NHL teams. Problem is, they are dead last in GA. There are other problems, but they need to be able to count on their goalies to not let in that 5th or 6th goal.

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#212 Henry
October 27 2013, 11:10AM
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DSF wrote:

Seriously?

Not exhaustive and in no particular order:

1) PK Subban

2) Shea Weber

3) Erik Karlsson

4) OEL

5) Keith Yandle

6) Alex Pietrangelo

7) Jaybo

8) Ryan Suter

9) Jonas Brodin

10) Seth Jones

11) Dan Hamhuis

12) Kevin Bieksa

13) Jason Garrisson

14) Alex Edler

15) Mark Giordano

16) Marc Edward Vlasic

17) Francois Beauchemin

18) Drew Doughty

19) Slava Voynov

20) Cam Fowler

21) Zdeno Chara

22) Dougy Hamilton

23) Christian Ehrhoff

24) Duncan Keith

25) Brent Seabrook

26) Nik Hjalmarson

27) Fedor Tyutin

28) Nik Kronwall

29) Andrei Markov

30) Travis Hamonic

31) Ryan McDonagh

32) Kris Letang

33) Paul Martin

34) Olli Maata

35) Matt Carle

36) Dion Phaneuf

37) Karl Alzner

38) Dustin Byfuglien

39) Zach Bogosian

40) Justin Braun

I can't see one D on that list whose GM would trade straight up for Jeff Petry unless he was truing to dump salary.

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist the bait.

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#213 DoubleA34
October 27 2013, 11:18AM
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Hopefully there is a good looking babe sitting behind Dallas again

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#214 Spydyr
October 27 2013, 11:24AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I think it was Thursdays game where I heard that the Oilers have lost 850 man games to injury since the human rake left, most in the league. Im not chalking the downfalls of the team to that but it sure would be nice to see a healthy team for 90% of the season.

Im really curious to know why Bachman was called up?

"Im really curious to know why Bachman was called up?"

You must not have watched the Phoenix game.If you did you must be used to seeing a lousy goalie in the Oilers net.

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#215 madjam
October 27 2013, 11:32AM
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So how do we dig ourselves out of this cellar hole we continue to be in is the question ? Recognize all our weaknesses . We trade our way out . If MacT. is finished with his trades , then he must be replaced by someone who is a much better wheeler dealer . Seasons already over/wasted , time to build for next season -the sooner the better. Building thru draft has been bloody awful for what we should be .Time to trade our way out of this mess , as we couldn't be any worse anyhow . FIRESALE,FIRESALE ! Make your best offers .

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#216 Old School G
October 27 2013, 11:41AM
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@Dan 1919

Great points. About Doobie: He is what he is, I like him but he's a tandem type goalie. All we need is a more competent second goalie and like you say I think we could salvage this season. The fact that we have not made a move for a goalie yet is concerning I hope that happens soon.

Which goalie would you want? What would we have to give up to get him?

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#217 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 27 2013, 11:42AM
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I was born in '91, last Oiler cup win was '90. I think the Oilers will win a cup in my lifetime, but I'm not completely sure...

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#218 The Oil r in need of P.H.D's
October 27 2013, 11:46AM
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@DSF

(1) So, with 4 officials on the ice, how is it that Hanzal is unpenalized and scoring on us later in the game ? (2) Is that guy available. We haven't had that (type of player)on the Oilers... In my lifetime anyways !!!

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#219 Dennis
October 27 2013, 12:57PM
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@Mac962

According to the Oilers twitter feed Dubnyk has an ankle injury. Not sure when that would have happened, but maybe that's why he didn't stay out once Labarbera was pulled yesterday.

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#220 MessyEH!
October 27 2013, 02:11PM
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DSF wrote:

In other news...Mason Raymond, who was picked up for nothing on a PTO and has a cap hit of only $1M, is on pace for a 27G 61P season.

Great play by Toronto. Who could have called that?

The Vancouver stench has just worn off of him.

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#221 Gaz
October 27 2013, 02:40PM
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@sizedoesmatter

Positivity is good. That's the mark of winners.

Positivity to the point of ignorance is where you have to draw the line.

That is exactly what is happening with this team. They'll lose four and nearly have management forced to face up to reality, and then win two, and everything is hunky-dory again. Thats how you end up winning 30 games a year and try to convince yourself and the public that everything is headed the right way.

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#222 MessyEH!
October 27 2013, 03:18PM
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Oasis wrote:

I didn't think my expectations this year were too high? I merely wanted to watch meaningful games in November.

^^^^you sir. I see what you did there^^^^^

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#223 vetinari
October 27 2013, 03:23PM
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Almost 150 posts of anger and we haven't even got to the game!

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#224 How Do You Know?
October 27 2013, 03:39PM
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Mac962 wrote:

Something is brewing with the goaltending. Labarbra is not hurt and neither is Dubnyk. Carolina deal pending perhaps...Just guessing as i have no insight but it is awful funny Bachman gets called up.

Bet we know before the puck drops.

Its time for a deal, the downside is every other team in the league is aware of the state we are in and will be looking to fleece the OIL. Of course there are other teams in out situation as well- DESPERATE !

Tyler Myers needs a new home i think.... is he worth a shot ?

Just thinking out loud....

Were you hiding under the table?

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#225 spider "man?"
October 27 2013, 03:41PM
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Peeling back DFS?

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#226 Johe
October 27 2013, 04:23PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

30 wins??!? I'd be happy with 30 wins. This team has only reached that lofty goal once in the past 4 seasons and sure ain't happening this year.

I bet all of Katz's money the Oilers win more than 30. C'mon man!

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#227 Alsker
October 27 2013, 05:16PM
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vetinari wrote:

Almost 150 posts of anger and we haven't even got to the game!

Yup, you know it's really bad(or good i kinda remember a time) to see this many posts!!!

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#228 spliff
October 27 2013, 06:34PM
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Game day prediction - Oilers go up 5 - 0, but in a repeat of the Miracle on Manchester, give up 6 straight goals to lose 6 - 5.

KLowe points to this loss as proof that we are only a few years away from winning 5 more cups.

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#229 Papamike
October 27 2013, 06:35PM
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Thomas Vanek to nyi for Matt Moulson and picks..

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#230 LaBackup
October 27 2013, 06:38PM
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bwar wrote:

I think Dudnyk is a legit #1.

#1 suspect ?!?

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#231 Alsker
October 27 2013, 06:39PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

You're forgeting the time it takes to get dressed, decide where they're going for dinner after the game, and who gets the cabfare back to the hotel. Serious brain straining stuff. Someone in this organization better grow a spine soon or skreech will be the only thing left to rid this crap taste out of my mouth. Oh well, keep dreaming, Go Oil!!!

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#232 Alsker
October 27 2013, 06:53PM
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Papamike wrote:

Thomas Vanek to nyi for Matt Moulson and picks..

So the firesale begins...well if Buf is shedding $ already, how bout omark and a 2nd +_ prospect or 2 for Ott?... let the craziness begin

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#233 6 ring circus
October 27 2013, 06:57PM
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@DSF

That's a pretty big gamble by Snow he gave up quite a bit for a UFA If Vanek signs on the island all is good if not that's a big time overpayment .

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#234 @Oilanderp
October 27 2013, 06:58PM
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LET'S GO OILERS!

*clap* *clap*

*clap* *clap* *clap*

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#235 @Oilanderp
October 27 2013, 07:00PM
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Bachman stands on his head!

*clap* *clap*

*clap* *clap* *clap*

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#236 StHenriOilBomb
October 27 2013, 07:32PM
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!!!!!!

Never, ever again title an article "nothing could possibly go wrong".

I'm so mad right now.

edit: oh. Nuge is back. huh. These Kings announcers made it sound like he was gone. Bizarre.

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#237 Alsker
October 27 2013, 07:32PM
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Another knee on knee, lowetides prospect reports will soon be Oiler updates instead.

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#238 StHenriOilBomb
October 27 2013, 07:33PM
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the kings announcers are pretty sure that was a dirty hit. No bias there.

Man. This is tough.

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#239 madjam
October 27 2013, 07:38PM
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We are playing scared poopless . Wow .

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#240 Alsker
October 27 2013, 07:39PM
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Do my eyes deceive me!!!The Nuuuuuuuuuuuuggeeeeeeee returns!!!

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#241 Stack Pad Save
October 27 2013, 07:39PM
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That was a dirty hit. Why no retribution by the Oilers? Why, that was your best player just took as dirty a hit you can throw in the game and no reaction by the Oilers. So weak.... So frustrated with this team and with the referees

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#242 Oiler63
October 27 2013, 07:44PM
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They went after our star player yet nobody on our team responded!!! ANYBODY, PLEASE!! This is effing unbelievable.

PP and PK can be worked on but this team culture is fucking unacceptable!!!

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#243 Alsker
October 27 2013, 07:45PM
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Greens forearm was nasty. How that wasn't a call is beyond me. Isnt Gazdic dressed?

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#244 YFC Prez
October 27 2013, 07:47PM
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@Alsker

I don't think I've seen him yet. What a perfect time to put the big man out. Too many pps and pks maybe

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#245 YFC Prez
October 27 2013, 07:48PM
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Perron gets called for getting tangled up with regher. That really sucks after the green non call

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#246 Alsker
October 27 2013, 07:49PM
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@YFC Prez

Maybe, though you'd think he would be a nice addition infront of the LA net. Or at the very least to introduce himself to Regehr+Green.

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#247 Alsker
October 27 2013, 07:55PM
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Wait a minute, just realized I wasnt cringing every time the Kings shot from the blueline. Im liking this feeling.

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#248 YFC Prez
October 27 2013, 08:14PM
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Ebbs? What kind of pass was that. Backmans playing surprisingly well. Bailed them out there

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#249 OilHub
October 27 2013, 08:14PM
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I know we are only a period in but Bachman looks great, let net a few and keep this kid around for a while..

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#250 Alsker
October 27 2013, 08:20PM
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well, I guess better late than never. New PP formation..4 guys on the blueline???

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