TRICK OR TREAT

Brian Sutherby
October 31 2013 02:54PM

It’s Halloween Nation and it’s on and poppin’. This article is like a variety pack of candy treats. Enjoy.

REXALL

I went to my first Oilers game as a fan Tuesday night since 1998. I enjoyed watching from a totally different perspective. The atmosphere was awesome even though I'm sure Oiler fans hated all the Leaf fans.

I used to love when road fans invaded our barn. You could hear the noise and feel the intensity from the crowd. Players feed off it. Unfortunately sometimes the opposition feeds off of it as well.

COUPLE THINGS I SEE

Many people still want to talk about this swarm D zone and how it's failed and it’s all Eakins fault the teams league worst Goals against average is 3.79. If you have games previously recorded on TV, go back and watch how many times the Oilers have control of the puck in their own end and turn it over.

It's amazing.

I wrote a piece in last week’s mail bag that I’m more of a “standard D zone” coverage kind of guy but when you constantly turn the puck over who cares what system you are playing, it results in a mad scramble for everyone.

Mistakes happen but this is something I haven’t seen change from game one of this season.  When you make soft plays with the puck in your own end or you don’t fight hard enough to get it out at the blue line, you can play whatever system you want, the puck will end up in the back of your net more often than not.

EAGER & JONES

Both guys got sent down at the start of the season and one guy has come back rejuvenated and hungry and the other one I’m not really sure.

Ben Eager should have been fighting Ryan Jones to fight Kyle Clifford the other night in LA.  Instead he lets a guy that is outmatched in toughness but clearly not heart, do his dirty work.  Fantastic on Ryan Jones, that goes a long way with your teammates and fans.

On the flip side I haven't seen Eager engage anyone whatsoever since he's been recalled.  I get it, (I have a bad melon too) maybe he can't fight with his head but I don't think he is effective without that element of nastiness to his game.  They may as well dress another skill guy because he's not good enough offensively to not be in scrums or putting fear into opponents.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Did anyone see this Carter Ashton hit last night?

I have said it on Jason Gregor’s show several times that players with the puck have to be aware of where they are on the ice and take onus on many occasions for getting popped with their head down or a spin at the last second and taking a hit from behind.

I worry a bit where the game is headed and think guys expect to not get hit now and want to blame everyone else for why they got hit.  This can potentially lead to more injuries in my opinion. It’s an incredibly fast game and expecting someone to not hit you anymore or that player X will be able to pin point his target 100% of the time is not a very smart way to play the game.

However, last night was not one of those hits and I absolutely hated it. Carter Ashton see’s numbers the whole way and hits the guy five feet from the boards.

Hits like this and the back side chin clip are the ones I have a problem with.  Unless hitting is completely removed from the game, I think even with all the steps to penalize guys there will always be a grey area but this type of hit is pretty black and white, incredibly stupid.

STREAKCRED

Our Pre-season champ ‘Slick Rick’ sent us this photo of himself celebrating his championship, good on you Sir. I aspire to be you one day.

Every month the scores reset on StreakCred and every month everyone starts anew.  October has now come to a close and Bender Chiefs is our winner, running away with a streak of 20. Bender Chiefs now has his choice of an autographed Corey Perry, Jamie Benn or Ryan Getzlaf jersey and a $200 prepaid visa.

If you haven’t already signed up for Streakcred it’s never too late. Each month, prizes and streaks reset so feel free to come join the new party with us in November.  We have autographed jerseys stacked to the sky at Wanye Manor and each month we will reveal who the winner gets to choose from. Sign up here to get onboard with this month of Streakcred.

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A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
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#1 pkam
October 31 2013, 03:08PM
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I went to a Leafs game at Rexall Place last year and surrounded by Leafs fans instead of Oilers fans. I don't mind some fans from the opponents, but I don't like it when they outnumber us and I am surrounded by them instead of my fellow Oilers fans.

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#2 rubbertrout
October 31 2013, 03:47PM
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Was I the only one hoping for a slutty nurse or slutty pirate picture when I saw the headline?

Very disappointing.

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#3 mr common sense
October 31 2013, 03:24PM
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Steve Ott is the solution. Then Wayne Simmonds. Then Curtis Glencross. Then Brandon Dubinsky. Get these 4 players and the Oil will be transformed

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#4 geoilersgist
October 31 2013, 04:31PM
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This Halloween I wanted to be super scary. What's the scariest thing in Alberta you ask? An Edmonton oilers neutral zone pass.

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#5 Hemmercules
October 31 2013, 03:18PM
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I don't think anyone wants to go back and watch any of the games again, let alone keep them recorded in the pvr lol. The amount of tunrovers at really bad this season though.

Eakins was really giving it to Eller the other night for his comments but everyone knew Eller was right. Soft team all around, but hey, at least they outshoot everyone they play, that counts for something right?

p.s. Happy Halloween to all the Oilers fans out there! Be safe and have fun with your kiddos and/or parties.

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#7 LoweBlow
October 31 2013, 04:23PM
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People keep talking about sold out games and season ticket waiting lists. They're implying that there's no incentive to win or be competitive. This line of thinking is foolish as it implies a lack or pride on the part of management.

It's time to ask ourselves:

Does Lowe lack pride & integrity? Or is he simply incompetent?

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#8 wiseguy
October 31 2013, 06:40PM
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What I get out of watching the Ashton hit was the quick, swift response from the victims' Calgary teammate to jump on Ashton. No dancing around, no challenging to a fight, etc. - just jump him and start swinging. This more than the NHL suspension will deter future hits. What was the Oilers' reaction to the multiple times Hall has been crushed and RNH kneed?

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#9 Harlie
October 31 2013, 05:34PM
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Trick or Treat, the Oilers season smells like feet!!!!

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#10 LoweBlow
October 31 2013, 06:28PM
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Kevin Lowe knows what it takes to win Stanley Cups? A former #4 (at best) Dman knows what it takes? A guy that had the benefit of playing with Gretzky, Messier, Kurri & Coffey? How about Kovalev, Richter & Leetch?

Seriously?

Seriously.....

Players like Lowe are a dime a dozen. His rings came from playing on amazing teams. His contributions were minimal.

Don't just fire him, mummify him.

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#11 That Butthurt Oilers Fan
October 31 2013, 05:16PM
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mr common sense wrote:

Steve Ott is the solution. Then Wayne Simmonds. Then Curtis Glencross. Then Brandon Dubinsky. Get these 4 players and the Oil will be transformed

It still blows my mind that we got rid of Glencross in the first pace. Gritty guy that scores goals. Also might want to add Chris Neil to that list.

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#12 LoweBlow
October 31 2013, 03:43PM
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mr common sense wrote:

Steve Ott is the solution. Then Wayne Simmonds. Then Curtis Glencross. Then Brandon Dubinsky. Get these 4 players and the Oil will be transformed

I think you're on to something there!

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#13 nick
October 31 2013, 08:27PM
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wiseguy wrote:

What I get out of watching the Ashton hit was the quick, swift response from the victims' Calgary teammate to jump on Ashton. No dancing around, no challenging to a fight, etc. - just jump him and start swinging. This more than the NHL suspension will deter future hits. What was the Oilers' reaction to the multiple times Hall has been crushed and RNH kneed?

Totally agree, there was a response. When Clifford hit RNH the Captain (Ference) was on the ice and he did nothing not a thing, not even a glove in the face to Clifford. First test as a leader failed miserably. How can this be a leader of a team. Just shows that Eakins picked the biggest butt kisser not the best leader

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#14 Smokey
October 31 2013, 04:36PM
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Eagers collecting a check. Should just pay him to go home like MTL did for Gomez.

Frankly If I was MacT I'd bring in two guys like Cheechoo who want to get back to the bigs. Say to your team these guys here for a job, how much do you want yours?

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#15 MessyEH!
October 31 2013, 04:26PM
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LoweBlow wrote:

People keep talking about sold out games and season ticket waiting lists. They're implying that there's no incentive to win or be competitive. This line of thinking is foolish as it implies a lack or pride on the part of management.

It's time to ask ourselves:

Does Lowe lack pride & integrity? Or is he simply incompetent?

Why can't you be right on all accounts?

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#16 YFC Prez
October 31 2013, 08:00PM
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LoweBlow wrote:

People keep talking about sold out games and season ticket waiting lists. They're implying that there's no incentive to win or be competitive. This line of thinking is foolish as it implies a lack or pride on the part of management.

It's time to ask ourselves:

Does Lowe lack pride & integrity? Or is he simply incompetent?

Winning is good for Katz' bottom line. A deep playoff run is where these owners make their money. The 2006 run was financially glorious for the EIG and set their books in the black after several horrid seasons.

I've never understood the argument that if the team sells out there is no incentive to win. Playoffs are a cash cow for owners. I can't imagine any owner passing up the chance to get into the playoffs and be content with regular season sell outs.

I'm going with Incompetence on Lowe's part, he certainly has an abundance of pride, way too much pride to step down and let someone else fix his mess.

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#17 blue31
October 31 2013, 11:54PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

When you have players like Hemsky, Gagner, and Eberle playing with the same length of stick they used in peewee, dosnt help for puck battles.

Do you yell "SHOOOOOOOOOOT!" the entire two minutes the Oilers are on a powerplay perchance?

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#18 pkam
October 31 2013, 03:23PM
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@Brian Sutherby

Can't agree more with you about the system thing. I am not a big believer in the Swarm system neither. But before the guys can win some 1 on 1 battle, make and take a pass, put the puck into the net when we have an odd man run, 2 on 1, and 3 on 2, and stop forcing a play to beat 2 and 3 opponents, etc, we will not win the game even with the best coach and the greatest system.

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#19 Randaman
October 31 2013, 03:49PM
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pkam wrote:

I went to a Leafs game at Rexall Place last year and surrounded by Leafs fans instead of Oilers fans. I don't mind some fans from the opponents, but I don't like it when they outnumber us and I am surrounded by them instead of my fellow Oilers fans.

If they keep playing like they are I think this will be more the norm than it is now. Sad but true considering that corporate tickets are given to employees that may be other teams fans.

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#20 Oiler Al
October 31 2013, 04:06PM
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When you have players like Hemsky, Gagner, and Eberle playing with the same length of stick they used in peewee, dosnt help for puck battles.

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#21 LoweBlow
October 31 2013, 07:11PM
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The more I watch the Oilers play, I get the impression that they just honestly don't really care.

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#22 Dog Train
October 31 2013, 08:26PM
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The Oilers have been making soft passes and soft plays in general for years. I'm sick of seeing the Oilers overskate a loose puck rather than stopping on the puck. The soft play predates Eakins, that's for sure.

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#23 Lochenzo
October 31 2013, 03:56PM
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Give Eager a Crosby 87 jersey for Halloween and ask him to play like Sid on Saturday.

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#24 Lowe Expectations
October 31 2013, 04:47PM
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Slick Rick needs some memorabilia on those walls.

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#25 Harlie
October 31 2013, 09:45PM
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nick wrote:

Totally agree, there was a response. When Clifford hit RNH the Captain (Ference) was on the ice and he did nothing not a thing, not even a glove in the face to Clifford. First test as a leader failed miserably. How can this be a leader of a team. Just shows that Eakins picked the biggest butt kisser not the best leader

Dude you are 100% wrong, Ference had his head turned when Clifford took out RNH. Watch it slomo my friend.

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#26 nick
November 01 2013, 07:25AM
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Harlie wrote:

Dude you are 100% wrong, Ference had his head turned when Clifford took out RNH. Watch it slomo my friend.

Oh so he didn't see. Then that's o.k. not to do anything about it? Hey that's are best player laying on the ice and the rest of the guys are kind of around Clifford. Hmm wonder what they are doing there? I will just let them handle it. NOT Don't make excuses for an inexcuseable non response. Did he do anything next shift out. NO! He waited for Ryan Jones to respond. Now that is a leader

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#27 CaptainLander
November 01 2013, 07:46AM
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@nick

I did not hear as to why it was not a penalty. If it was worth a fine why not a penalty. I was under the impression that when one players goes outside of the rules they are penalized, thus providing advantage to the team that was affected by the unruly behavior. This is the how the league can protect players and maintain the integrity of the game. Oh and I looked it up, kneeing is a penalty.

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#28 WinterNightSky
October 31 2013, 04:40PM
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I've actually been pretty happy with Eager's lack of engagement. Usually, when he engages, it's to do something stupid. 0 PIMs in 5 games is a good sign.

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