TUESDAY TIDBITS...

Jason Gregor
October 08 2013 12:09PM

We start a new weekly item today called, Tuesday Tidbits. After last night's stunning come-from-behind Oiler victory, our timing couldn't be better.

After two periods of the Oilers/Devils game Oilersnation was on the verge of a mental breakdown. The season was going to be over. The Oilers were destined for another top-ten pick, and I even received my first outlandish trade request of the season.

I was asked about a Nail Yakupov for Ryan Miller trade. Trading a 19-year-old first overall pick for a soon-to-be UFA, 33 year-old goalie, is the definition of panic. Or delusion. Calm down, three games does not make a season, but I don't believe you can downplay last night's third period.

Through 40 minutes the Oilers looked disinterested, excluding one excellent rush by Ales Hemsky, that actually started with a lucky bounce after a bad clearing pass.

It took the Oilers almost ten and a half minutes to register a shot on goal, and after 40 minutes they had more turnovers than shots on goal, eleven.

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Oilerville 20 this night...

But then they got a break.

Bryce Salvador shot the puck over the glass at 5:19 of the third frame, and that minor miscue injected some much needed energy into a listless Oilers squad.

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored 24 seconds later on powerplay and suddenly the Oilers had a pulse.
     
  • Three minutes and 45 seconds later Andrew Ference scored on a shot from the point, and Rexall Place erupted. Prior to that the biggest applause was for Joey Moss' 50th birthday celebration.
     
  • Two minutes and 19 seconds later David Perron ripped one over Brodeur's shoulder and the game was tied. Prior to that shot, Perron, like most of his teammates, was fighting the puck, but once he scored you could literally see his body replenishing with confidence.
     
  • One minute and 43 seconds later Taylor Hall found himself all alone in front of Martin Brodeur, after a nifty tap/push pass from Ales Hemsky. Hall made a quick move to avoid the pokecheck and slid it home for a 4-3 lead. Prior to that goal, Hall had been visibly frustrated. He couldn't make a pass, and he'd been fighting the puck during the previous 153 minutes of play. His goal celebration and reaction seemed like more relieve than joy, but like Perron, suddenly Hall had confidence with the puck.
     
  • To add to the drama the Devils got a lucky goal in the final minute to send the game to overtime, before Jordan Eberle and Perron displayed their version of shootout "Horse." Eberle went first, had a few quick stick handles/dangles, before roofing a backhander upstairs. Perron mirrored Eberle's attempt, and then Jason LaBarbera stopped Ryan Clowe for the victory.
     
  • The Oilers clearly needed the win, but I think the psyche of the fanbase might have needed it more.

By the sounds of it, some of you turned the game off after 40 minutes and missed the epic comeback, but for those who stuck through the painfully agonizing first two periods, for once you were rewarded for your undying loyalty.

OTHER TIDBITS

  • It was a great comeback, but it doesn't overshadow the fact the Oilers are still turning the puck over far too frequently, and most of the turnovers are coming from their skilled forwards. Dallas Eakins will have lots of examples to show during their video session. If the turnovers don't stop, I'm curious to see when or who he will use to make an example of. It is a bad habit that needs to stop, if the Oilers are serious about becoming a contender in the next few seasons.
     
  • Ryan Hamilton didn't come out for the third period, and for the final 22 minutes (17 regulation and 5 in OT) Eakins only used eight forwards.

    Nugent-Hopkins played a career-high 28:12. Does anyone still think they rushed him back?
    Hall played 25:44.
    Perron played 25:15
    Eberle played 22:34

    Eakins isn't afraid to use his skilled guys. I don't believe he can use them that often all season, but they are young and in certain situations it makes sense.
     
  • Anton Belov was bumped ahead of Ladislav Smid. Belov played with Petry and logged 21:33 of icetime. He looks more comfortable every game.
     
  • Currently the Oilers have four of the top-14 forwards in TOI. Nugent-Hopkins is first, albeit in one game, while Hall is 2nd at 23:05, Perron is 11th at 21:39 and Eberle is 14th at 21:23.
     
  • Last season, Carolina, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and the Rangers each had two forwards in the top-14 of TOI for forwards. I suspect you'll see Nugent-Hopkins and Hall up there this year.
     
  • So far Boyd Gordon has more shots, 8, than Yakupov, 6. That is great for Gordon, but Yakupov needs to use his potent shot more.
     
  • 15 Oilers have points in the first three games. Only Yakupov, Belov, Nick Schultz, Mike Brown and Ryan Hamilton haven't registered a point. That is very balanced scoring.
     
  • Marc Arcobello is 3rd on the Oilers in hits with eight. He isn't running over guys, but Arcobello has shown a willingness to finish his checks and get in the way. He's done a lot of the small things well thus far.
     
  • The Oilers have given up 15 goals in three games. That is horrendous. Neither goalie has been stellar, but they aren't the only ones to blame. While the 3rd period was a treat to watch, the Oilers have to clean up their defensive zone before making stops in Toronto, Washington, Pittsburgh, New York (NYI), Ottawa and Montreal.
     
  • Twelve of their next 16 games are on the road, which makes Thursday's home game against the Habs a really-really-need-to-win game.
     
  • It is early, but once again the Oilers are near the top in minor penalties. The Oilers have been shorthanded 13 times thus far. In the last three years, the Oilers were shorthanded the 5th, 5th and 3rd most times. They need to cut down on their penalties. It is a disturbing trend.
     
  • Most teams have only played two or three game, yet we only have six undefeated teams remaining. Toronto is the only 3-0 team, while Pittsburgh, Boston, Colorado, St.Louis and San Jose are 2-0. I'll pick the Penguins to have the longest undefeated streak, not including SO losses.
     
  • Tough break for Fantasy Football owners of Julio Jones. He is done for the season. Ouch.
     
  • I have no issue with the new Hockey Canada Jerseys. I think the white ones will look sharp.
     

  • Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed won't be back after the season, and I doubt many of the position coaches will be either. Rumours came out of Winnipeg last week that Stampeders D coordinator, Rick Campbell, is a leading candidate to replace Reed. That won't happen. Campbell is a good coach, much better than some think, but Ed Hervey will hire someone with no previous connection to the Eskimos. He doesn't seem like a revisionist history type of guy.

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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#1 916oiler
October 08 2013, 12:10PM
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We got our Fist win of the season! Nuuuuuge is back!

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#2 Jackson
October 08 2013, 12:16PM
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Here is a tidbit Jason will like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlOxlSOr3_M

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#3 Joelbaby
October 08 2013, 12:17PM
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its amazing what a lil pep in your step can do. Bottle it up boys and bring it to the next game!!!! We know they can play, they sometimes know they can play.. Its weird.. Stil plenty of room on the bandwagon here.. lotta broken ankles so far.. OILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#4 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 08 2013, 12:18PM
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I have to ask. Were you in the seats or PB? They showed a guy that looked like you in the seats a couple times.

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#5 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 08 2013, 12:21PM
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Didn't result in much, but Brown needs credit for taking one of the Devils top d-man off for 5 minutes.

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#6 OilDieHard
October 08 2013, 12:25PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Didn't result in much, but Brown needs credit for taking one of the Devils top d-man off for 5 minutes.

i just wish Brown would quit stumbling when he fights other players. but he did his job didn't he?

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#7 Rob...
October 08 2013, 12:34PM
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Was there any news on Hemsky's or Perron's 'injuries'? Hemsky almost looked like he concussed himself...but those two toughed it out and were key players in the win, so I'd hate to see them have to take a game or two off to heal.

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#8 WhattaMike
October 08 2013, 12:36PM
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Ohhhh you are so right JG in that I was one ready to dice and slice up the way the Oilers were playing, especially when they were embarassed against the Canucks thye game before. Should've, Could've, and definitely....the team had to come out flying against these Devils...and they did not (for 45 minutes anyways). The sticks were gripped too much and the tenseness was sooooo visible.

I was ohhhh so close to changing the channel by the end of the 2nd period...but....I gutted it out like the Oilers did in the third...lol.

Now, there was no such displayed confidence for the team and far too many tunrovers again....during the first 40-43 minutes. Also, I saw LaBarbera not play any to much better than Dubnyk's first two horrible games, and but yet, he did very well in the shootout....got the win.

But, But, But......Thank goodness for Nuge coming back and stroking up the team with his goal. Thank goodness the flood gates opened finally the right way and good for Ference, Perron and Hall.

Last I want say its great the Oilers won.... which I dearly want them to do alot of this year...and also, I will say I am very pleased with Gordon and Hemsky right now. Koodoes to Arcobello and Acton again with play and faceoffs.

Now please someone help Yak get scoring right away!!! Now Lets get a big win over them Habs!!!!!!

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#9 Fresh Mess
October 08 2013, 12:40PM
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It was a win, but not a good game from the Oilers. NJ is not a good team.

Eakins needs to make an example of Hall and J. Schultz otherwise he is all talk. A game on the bench or press box.

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#10 Senator Theo
October 08 2013, 12:42PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I have to ask. Were you in the seats or PB? They showed a guy that looked like you in the seats a couple times.

I saw that guy too, but I think it might have been Tarzan Dan.

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#11 Rama Lama
October 08 2013, 12:47PM
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I too watched in frustration and wanted to trade the whole team but kept telling myself........everyone is feeling the pressure and squeezing their stick too hard.

I feel that the entire organization is holding their collective breath and as a result not playing a natural game of hockey.

The guys that most stood out for me was Boyd Gordon......doing all the small things right. I would credit him with contributing more to the goals scored last night than any other player.

Eakins has balls playing RNH and Hemsky as the first unit PK ..........am I missing something here? If he starts to lean too heavily on the first line ( 28 mins for RNH) they will be burned out by game 50. I hope he spends time calibrating and assessing the bottom six as the line combinations down there make no sense......time to send Smyth and Brown to the light.

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#12 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
October 08 2013, 12:51PM
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"Trading a 19-year-old first overall pick for a soon-to-be UFA, 33 year-old goalie, is the definition of panic. Or delusion. Calm down, three games does not make a season, but I don't believe you can downplay last night's third period."

Agreed.

Another Tuesday Tidbit: Yak turned 20 on Sunday.

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#13 2004Z06
October 08 2013, 12:52PM
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Though the third period was great, that game never should have made it to overtime. The Oilers had a power play and decided they would just coast through it and the last 33 seconds of 5 on 5. That power play was the opportunity to put the game away. They were noticeably lazy during that PP. Lots of folks blaming Labarberra for the tying goal, but the PP is the reason Jersey even had a sniff.

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#14 ghostofberanek
October 08 2013, 12:58PM
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I'm ashamed to admit that I was one of the guys who shut the game off after the 2nd period. It was the first time in 2 years I've done such a thing, and boy do I regret it. That being said, was I ever happy this morning!

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#15 oilbaron
October 08 2013, 12:58PM
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Anyone see Jonathon Quick last night? Guess its time the Kings find a new goalie with some actual talent

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#16 Coco crisp
October 08 2013, 01:03PM
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Nick Schultz needs to be a lot better.

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#17 washed up
October 08 2013, 01:04PM
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As great as the third period was for the oil, when they went on that late power play I thought to myself, this should seal the game. However it seemed to me that I was watching the Oilers team from the first 40 min. They could not break out of their own zone, and could not get set up in the offensive zone. It was like they were just hanging on. Although the goal the devils scored was a lucky one I had the feeling the oilers would not be able to close out the game. Was it just me, or did others notice this as well.

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#18 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 01:10PM
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"...but I don't believe you can downplay last night's third period.."

absolutely you can AND should do so. And you do just a couple of sentences later.

It was 15 minutes of an otherwise awful game against a weak,old team that made some big mistakes that the oil capitalized on.

3 games do not make a season - nor does 15 minutes...

The flaws - glaringly - remain.

2. And in light of Belov's play, why did Mact blow 1.5 million of precious cap space on his friend grebeshkov?

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#19 outdoorzguy
October 08 2013, 01:12PM
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Still a lousy team and an even lousier organization!!

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#20 Simpsonite
October 08 2013, 01:12PM
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Do posts count as shots? I think Yak has had a crossbar and a post...not sure if they count. If they don't count then he has as many shots as the other guy...if they do count...oh geez.

He still needs to shoot more. He is really frustrated as well. When he does score he better slide right into the zamboni loading dock...

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#21 Soccer Steve
October 08 2013, 01:13PM
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@Jason Gregor

"Anton Belov was bumped ahead of Ladislav Smid. Belov played with Petry and logged 21:33 of icetime. He looks more comfortable every game."

Belov looked like absolute garbage last night.

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#22 outdoorzguy
October 08 2013, 01:13PM
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Mactavish has done nothing to improve this team

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#23 etownman
October 08 2013, 01:19PM
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I like the idea of pursuing a netminder like Miller but definately not at the expense of 20 yr old Yakupov! A big happy b-day to Yak, let's score a goal against the Habs to celebrate only the way Yak can celebrate!

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#24 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 01:23PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Mactavish has done nothing to improve this team

I disagree.

MacT has done some things to improve the team - Perron, Gordon and (perhaps) belov are positive acquisitions.

But he has done a lot of damage in two ways:

roster changes - adding grebeshkov for example,

and not making changes - leaving dubnyk as #1 signing gagner; keeping hemsky instead of trading/buying him out; no significant 1/2 line fierceness added etc.

so on the whole MacT has not done "nothing"

he has in toto - done DAMAGE both in the near term and in the long term.

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#25 Dq
October 08 2013, 01:37PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I disagree.

MacT has done some things to improve the team - Perron, Gordon and (perhaps) belov are positive acquisitions.

But he has done a lot of damage in two ways:

roster changes - adding grebeshkov for example,

and not making changes - leaving dubnyk as #1 signing gagner; keeping hemsky instead of trading/buying him out; no significant 1/2 line fierceness added etc.

so on the whole MacT has not done "nothing"

he has in toto - done DAMAGE both in the near term and in the long term.

You do know Hemsky leads the team in scoring right? It's a long season and Hemmer goes through great streaks and then randomly comes up lame ... But at this stage, *not* letting him go in exchange for a bag of pucks has to be seen as a very very wise decision.

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#26 BingBong
October 08 2013, 01:38PM
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Big win last night, but like others have mentioned, the problems were still there most of the night. The skilled forwards turn it over way too often (usually with cross ice passes), but more noticeably, our defense appears weaker than ever. Ference looked ok, and I thought Petry played well finally, but the other guys just look lost. Smid and N. Schultz can't make a pass to save their lives, Belov looks confused, and J. Schultz has been a turnover machine. I thought his strong suit was his skating and the ability to make that first pass, but he looks totally bewildered when he skates it out of our zone, as well as on the PP.

Also, La Barbarella was brutal, and was lucky that the 2 NJ shooters missed their shots in the shootout because he was caught with his pants down on both.

Can't wait for next game though...

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#27 DigDeepNBleedBlue
October 08 2013, 01:41PM
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Rant time!

Goaltending? Not good, man. Not good. It's early though.

Smyth doesn't need to retire just yet. He needs to be used sparingly and lower down the batting order. That's all. He's still got compete and is a vault of experience. Now, with saying that, should he jump into the 3rd line LW if Hamilton and Joensuu are still hurt on Thurs? No. Bring up Eager or even Pitlick. Some speed and some grit will help, IMO.

On Pitlick: What a training camp! Nice sh*t. Kid's putting it together.

Perron. I like this cat! Straight up prick. Man, we needed one of these for years. A prick with skillz. The other night he was grabbing legs and getting dirty in the scrums. I had a flash back of Jacky Moon (Will Farrell) screaming, “Somebody hit somebody!” And, last night competing hard right off of a face off. Me like. A lot.

I want more scrums.

Good on Hemsky.

Criticizing Hall is asinine. Center didn't work. It probably pucked with his psyche. He'll be fine. He's just trying too hard I believe. Nice goal on a future Hall of Famer.

Gordon IS better than Horcoff. Sorry. Hits more and that helps cause positive plays. Nice pickup and dump.

Fistric would be nice right about now. Need a heavy D when things get ugly in their own zone. It's a definite need. One I hope isn't costly.

Still not sold on Arcobello. But, not hating either. What's for certain is that this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Good for him.

Finish your checks. No pucking around, blue! Finish your checks last night and you win in reg.

Great game last night. Ugly as sh*t! But, a win is a win.

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#28 Oilfan
October 08 2013, 01:53PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I disagree.

MacT has done some things to improve the team - Perron, Gordon and (perhaps) belov are positive acquisitions.

But he has done a lot of damage in two ways:

roster changes - adding grebeshkov for example,

and not making changes - leaving dubnyk as #1 signing gagner; keeping hemsky instead of trading/buying him out; no significant 1/2 line fierceness added etc.

so on the whole MacT has not done "nothing"

he has in toto - done DAMAGE both in the near term and in the long term.

I just wonder sometimes if complainers complain just for the sake of it or if they have no control over it.

- Hemsky leads the team in assists and points after 3 games. Before last night's game, the coach was saying he has been the best forward so far. Huge damage so far, yes.

- Not sure what mistakes Grebeshkov has made in the regular season thus far to warrant the "damage" you say he's responsible for either.

- Craig MacTavish played 1,093 NHL regular season games and 193 NHL playoff games. He played on one of the strongest and most successful teams the sport has ever known. He's coached 656 NHL regular season games and been involved in the game in a professional capacity for most of the last 30 years. He also coached Grebeshkov in the NHL earlier. Yet you have the audacity to claim all of that experience means zero compared to your expert knowledge of player ability. Impressive.

Everyone flipped out about Paajarvi for David Perron. Perron's at a point-per-game pace while Magnus is in the press box.

Would be nice if there were at least a quarter mentions of what has been successful (thus far at least) compared to the number of complaints and "fixes" the experts love to throw out.

So, do complainers ever think about what they're saying or does it just make them feel better to complain. Might as well throw out your reasoning behind Horcoff's responsibility for the 1st 2 games as well as I'm sure there's something specific he did in each of those games to cost the team 2 points.

Sometimes it's just kind of hilarious to read some of these posts and wonder whether they are serious or just eager to jump on the trend of whatever's popular to say at a given moment.

Having said all that, no one is forced to read any of it and, at the end of the day, it's "too each their own." Sometimes some of the posts just make a person wonder tho.

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#29 madjam
October 08 2013, 01:59PM
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Game analysis : 1. Aren't you glad we don't play bore you to and hockey like the Devils each nite ! The only stars they have of any note is in goal ! 2. My version of probably went down between 2nd period break ? Eakins blast the team and they blast him back . He tells them if they are so good then go out and prove it to me . Presto , they do and Eakins breaks out a smile and serves them Timbits as a reward , and declares every Tuesday will become Fat Tuesday if they keep winning . Finally , something of substance for them to play for .

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#30 CHRIS
October 08 2013, 02:03PM
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I like the intensity of play from the forwards last night through 60m however the oilers deference were their own worst enemy. All year it will be the same game plan for every team playing the oilers, pressure the D and create turnovers. We desperately need a top 1 2 D pairing. Maybe we should trade omark for one.... :)

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#31 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
October 08 2013, 02:07PM
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etownman wrote:

I like the idea of pursuing a netminder like Miller but definately not at the expense of 20 yr old Yakupov! A big happy b-day to Yak, let's score a goal against the Habs to celebrate only the way Yak can celebrate!

So you like the IDEA of pursuing a netminder like Miller...just not the part where you actually pursue him.

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#32 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
October 08 2013, 02:09PM
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Dq wrote:

You do know Hemsky leads the team in scoring right? It's a long season and Hemmer goes through great streaks and then randomly comes up lame ... But at this stage, *not* letting him go in exchange for a bag of pucks has to be seen as a very very wise decision.

Or an outright obvious one.

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#33 Ron Burgundy
October 08 2013, 02:11PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

I'm ashamed to admit that I was one of the guys who shut the game off after the 2nd period. It was the first time in 2 years I've done such a thing, and boy do I regret it. That being said, was I ever happy this morning!

In contrast, I didn't turn the game off on Saturday, and boy do I regret it. They made up for it last night though!

Seemed to me like Eberle got bumped down the lineup as the game went on last night. And did Perron play the entire 3rd/OT? Maybe Eak sending messages?

Hemsky's trip and fall looked like it hurt his back more than his head - we'll see I guess.

I am glad we signed Sammy, but boy Arco seems to do a lot of the same things (and some better things), and way cheaper...

Last tidbit - Petry looks brutal so far this year.

Stay classy.

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#34 Hemmercules
October 08 2013, 02:20PM
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Nice article. Like the format. Tons of good info.

"The Oilers clearly needed the win, but I think the psyche of the fanbase might have needed it more."........That line right there sums things up pretty nicely. After that Canucks game I needed that win as I'm sure most of us did.

With a rookie coach and lots of new faces you had to think they might start a little shaky. Hopefully they got the monkey off their back now and put forth some solid efforts on the road. I'm still expecting a fair bit of inconsistency in them though as they have only really played 3 good periods of hockey so far.

Perron is great so far. Like someone already said, he's kind of a prick and has some skills too. Beauty goal last night by him, heads up play on the faceoff.

Hall should settle in now and start to light it up. Nuge really saved the day getting Hall off center and back where he belongs. Watching Hall, Nuge & Ebs celebrating goals together is pretty sweet.

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#35 Hemmercules
October 08 2013, 02:28PM
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I also noticed Dubby was the first guy over to Labarbera at the end with a huge smile on his face. You can't deny Dubnyks attitude is great. I hope he stands on his head next game and gets some mojo back.

Who do they start next game?? Neither guy has been great. Lab just got a win but I'm sure Dubby is itching to get back in and prove hes capable.

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#36 Sidney Frosby
October 08 2013, 02:41PM
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Wonder if NJ would trade Volchenkov, he had 177 hits back in 2011-2012, blcoks a ton of shots...

He is 4-5 on NJ's depth chart, and makes $4.2 ( a little too much) and has 2 more years on his deal.....

Maybe a pending UFA named Nick Schultz who makes $3.5 mill + a sweetener would suffice for NJ.

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#37 Danger Pay
October 08 2013, 02:42PM
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I told myself during the second intermission that I would only watch the first 10 mins of the third and see if they could do anything, So glad I did! Can't say I'm surprised the Devils tied it up but I was surprised Jagr didn't score in OT. He has been an Oiler killer for ever!!! Nice third period effort for Eakins first win and now they have something to build on.

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#39 yegCopywriter
October 08 2013, 03:24PM
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Seeing RNH healthy yesterday got me thinking about what a fully healthy forward lineup would look like. Now that we know Hemsky is back to his old self and Joensuu, Gordon, and Arcobello are the real deal, this just might be the strongest group of forwards in the league.

Hall-RNH-Eberle

Perron-Gagner-Yakupov

Joensuu-Gordon-Hemsky

Smyth-Arcobello-Gazdic/Brown

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#40 Will
October 08 2013, 03:25PM
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Any word on Joensu. I was really liking his game before getting hurt. Him and Perron give us some nice grit in the top nine. Gordon as well has been more gritty and physical than Horcoff was. And he is a beast in the face off dot. 68% are you kidding me? Was suprised to see Arcebello with a good face off percentage as well. Hopefully we can keep this up against Montreal since our turnovers and penalties haven't been good.

Speaking of Montreal, that should be a fun game as they are not as trap defence as New Jersey. Especially when New Jersey got the lead, they just would not forecheck and the Oilers had to go through so many players in the neutral zone. Nice to watch the kids play against greats like Jagr and Broduer. The key to that game was always going to be to come hard in the late game as our youth and speed became a bigger advantage as the game went on. I kind of wish Schnider was in net, just because the Oilers seem to light him up, but again, it was nice to a legend like Brodure one last time in Edmonton.

Great finish, still some problems, hopefully we can shore them up as the season goes on.

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#42 David S
October 08 2013, 03:32PM
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"Serious Gord"

BAH-HAHAHAHAHA!!!

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#43 Randaman
October 08 2013, 03:42PM
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@Soccer Steve

At least Belov can skate and pass and hit and so on and so on. Smid has been an absolute disaster so far. He skates like he is in quick sand

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#44 DieHard
October 08 2013, 03:43PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I disagree.

MacT has done some things to improve the team - Perron, Gordon and (perhaps) belov are positive acquisitions.

But he has done a lot of damage in two ways:

roster changes - adding grebeshkov for example,

and not making changes - leaving dubnyk as #1 signing gagner; keeping hemsky instead of trading/buying him out; no significant 1/2 line fierceness added etc.

so on the whole MacT has not done "nothing"

he has in toto - done DAMAGE both in the near term and in the long term.

You sir are not Gord.

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#45 French Toast Mafia
October 08 2013, 03:43PM
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These go after Ryan Miller comments are quite scary. Ryan Miller is not an elite goalie and he is 33 years old...

Fortunately, MacT is an intelligent man and I don't see him giving up anything for a washed up, overrated tender that had one solid year in his career.

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#46 Quicksilver ballet
October 08 2013, 04:06PM
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I love(d) the Oilers. Now i'm on Prozac. May soon love again if that little poodle Harry will let me.

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#47 bwar
October 08 2013, 04:25PM
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First off, Belov might be the teams best defenseman so far. I think that if he's playing well then Eakins should reward him.

Second, when the Oilers started churning out the offensive blender (only using 8 forwards), it seemed like the game changed dramatically. Prior to the shortening of the bench the Oilers seemed extremely stagnant and the game seemed like it was going to slip away from the Oilers. There seemed to be no pressure being applied in the offensive zone and the Devils were clearing the zone with ease. Then the Oilers entered attack mode. It was hard to keep track of who was on the ice and the almost randomness of the lines seemed to put the Devils at a disadvantage. With the Oilers offensive talent I think that running a system like this has many positives. If the fourth line can have their player weaved in occasionally, for player relief and to maintain a more physical presence, I think that the Oilers become a much harder team to match up against (ie. harder to shutdown one line when that line is always changing). Obviously you would have certain pairings and groupings that would remain favored but having a more dynamic approach to line combinations could benefit the Oilers.

Third, we were pretty bad in OT. Nearly every breakout ended up sending one Oiler way ahead into a 1v2 or 1v3 scenario that the Devils were easily stopping. A more balanced attack would result in more offensive zone penetration and would most likely end up with a few more scoring chances. I think the first step to cleaning this up would be giving the defensemen more freedom to carry the puck out of the zone during OT over firing off the long pass. This keeps the attacked more balanced and offers more time to read the defensive setup as well as setup the attack to break into the zone.

It was great to see the Oilers finally get some life back into their game and hopefully they will be able to carry some of the third period into Thursdays game.

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#48 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 04:31PM
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Oilfan wrote:

I just wonder sometimes if complainers complain just for the sake of it or if they have no control over it.

- Hemsky leads the team in assists and points after 3 games. Before last night's game, the coach was saying he has been the best forward so far. Huge damage so far, yes.

- Not sure what mistakes Grebeshkov has made in the regular season thus far to warrant the "damage" you say he's responsible for either.

- Craig MacTavish played 1,093 NHL regular season games and 193 NHL playoff games. He played on one of the strongest and most successful teams the sport has ever known. He's coached 656 NHL regular season games and been involved in the game in a professional capacity for most of the last 30 years. He also coached Grebeshkov in the NHL earlier. Yet you have the audacity to claim all of that experience means zero compared to your expert knowledge of player ability. Impressive.

Everyone flipped out about Paajarvi for David Perron. Perron's at a point-per-game pace while Magnus is in the press box.

Would be nice if there were at least a quarter mentions of what has been successful (thus far at least) compared to the number of complaints and "fixes" the experts love to throw out.

So, do complainers ever think about what they're saying or does it just make them feel better to complain. Might as well throw out your reasoning behind Horcoff's responsibility for the 1st 2 games as well as I'm sure there's something specific he did in each of those games to cost the team 2 points.

Sometimes it's just kind of hilarious to read some of these posts and wonder whether they are serious or just eager to jump on the trend of whatever's popular to say at a given moment.

Having said all that, no one is forced to read any of it and, at the end of the day, it's "too each their own." Sometimes some of the posts just make a person wonder tho.

Not complaining - criticizing - big difference.

Hemsky should have been dealt rather than signed - look at his performance since he signed - not three games. He ties up to much cap room delivering a skill set we already have a surplus of. Cap space is golden in this year more than any other before or since.

I don't give a crap about MacT's non-GM experience - nor should you. Gretz was a great player and a lousy coach. MacT has thusfar failed to address issues that even he has admitted need addressing.

I for one did not "flip" about pajaarvi. Good player again a player with a skillset we didn't need.

The rest of your post is a complaint without substance.

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#49 OilerLand
October 08 2013, 04:33PM
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The Canada Jerseys are made more horrible by the fact that they will be worn with black pants. The socks design adds a lot to the overall aesthetic but going purely red/white would have helped.

Nike had some nice basic designs like Czech white and Both USAs, but overall big time fail with the details like the fake lace up collar.

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