GDB 21.0: STARTING OVER

Jason Gregor
November 15 2013 12:30PM

The Oilers enter the second quarter of their season tonight vs. the San Jose Sharks. The first quarter had disastrous results, and cost them a playoff spot. The management, coaches and players can't look at it that way, playoffs being a pipe dream, but a 4-14-2 start has them 15 points out of the playoffs.

The remainder of this season will be about understanding the system, learning to compete, not just working hard, every shift and hopefully the bitter taste and stench of losing will motivate the players to never be in this situation again.

The Oilers must use the next 62 games to build the foundation of continuity and winning. If they want to become winners, they must be committed to the system, their teammates and themselves.

The Oilers are showing signs of improvement in some areas of their game.

Despite going 0-for-5 last game the Oilers PP is 25% in their last eight games. Their PK has killed off 25 of the last 26 powerplays, 96.3%, over their past eight games.

Many will say the Oilers haven't improved enough because they aren't winning, and that is valid. However, the Oilers can't  solve all their problems over night. These next 20 games will be a test of their character and inner strength. Do they have willpower and focus to concentrate on the next game and not pout or worry about the previous 20? Have they learned that they need to play smarter, faster, stronger and with move conviction in order to win?

We won't know until December 29th. That is when they will have played half the season. Can this team stick together, play hard and become competitive? The next quarter of the season will show us a glimpse of whether or not they can execute the system, or if they have the guts to go to the net consistently,  or if they have the intestinal fortitude to try and stop opposing teams from going to the net and the internal desire to finally learn how to win.

The 2nd quarter of the season could show us a lot about which players should be here long-term.

DIFFERENT APPROACH...

If I was Andrew Ference, I would sit the team down and show them some of the great inspirational/motivational speeches from movies. Hockey is a game. You can inject some humour into the game. Try and get the players to relax, inhale and recognize that it isn't life or death.

For some reason our society thrives on negativity too often. Yes, the first 20 games were f^@#*&()*) embarrassing. But whining and focusing on it every day isn't going to change that. Learn from it. Challenge them to be better, and maybe have some fun doing it.

Here are some examples. Guys love this stuff. I know watching these clips made me laugh and they got me fired up.

I'd start with something light... 

"That's what were here for guys, to win." I freaking love that line. Makes me laugh every time...

Most sports movies have a dramatic scene that usually leads to the team bonding or that shows an individual realizing they need to work harder. We eat this stuff up. We love it, and that's why we watch those movies over and over again.

Ference could show them this one. (fast forward to 1:40 to the quicksand speech.) 

"You're playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. And another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can't move... you can't breathe... because you're in over your head. Like quicksand." Shane Falco

That could resonate with many Oilers right now. They have had numerous things go wrong...but they can't let it paralyze them.

Then I'd show them this one. It is fitting since the Sharks are in town. (actual words start at 2:00)

For some laughs I'd follow it up with this one. This kid is great.

Then, I would play the greatest sports speech of all-time. I don't care what sport you play, whether you are playing beer league, the NHL, NFL or road hockey this scene/speech will get your blood flowing. 

Eakins could play this one.

"I can't make you do it....Either we heal now as a team, or we will die as individuals...Now what are you going to do?"

Tony FREAKING D'Amato (Pacino) would have made a great coach.

I would leave them with this one.  

I understand the need to talk systems and strategy, but sometimes you simply need to tap into the emotions of the players, and in this case, with the loyal citizens of Oilersnation.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Hemsky-Gagner-Yakupov
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Joensuu-Acton-Jones/Gazdic

Ference-Petry
Belov-Larsen
N.Schultz-Potter

Dubnyk

Sitting Arcobello is perplexing. I don't get it. He has been solid offensively, defensively and on the PK. 

The Sharks are playing their third game in four nights. They defeated the Flames Tuesday and the Canucks last night, both times in OT. Fatigue

The Sharks have three players averaging a point-a-game. Thornton and Pavelski have 20 points in 19 games, while Logan Couture has 19 in 19. Patrick Marleau has 18 points and Tomas Hertl has 17. The Oilers will face Alex Stalock. He has won both of his starts, and he has a dazzling 0.946 SV% and 1.57 GAA.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: On paper this is an easy choice, the Sharks should dominate, however, it is Positive Friday and if Ference showed even one of the aforementioned videos prior to the game the Oilers will win. Chalk one up for D'Amato, Oilers win 3-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers haven't scored at home in 182 minutes. They score in the first period, and combined with the first 8 p.m. Friday game that I can remember, the first intermission beer sales are the highest of the season.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ilya Bryzgalov stops 33 shots in his AHL debut in a 4-1 victory. During the 2nd intermission the Oilers show highlights of the OKC victory and a few of Bryzgalov's saves. After the highlights, they play the clip of Bryzgalov saying he is only afraid of bears in the woods.   

SHARE AND DROWN YOUR SORROWS...

Do you need to share your feelings and frustrations about the Oilers? We have the best possible solution. Next Friday is the 2nd annual DJ Suitcase party. Don't miss out. Tickets are already 80% sold out. You can buy them here. See you then.

Speaking of Struds, media whore, make sure you vote for him in Battle of the Blades. If Struds win, the Inner City Children's Program will receive $50,000. That is huge. Take a moment and vote. If you take a few extra moments, answer the Quick Challenge questions, sign in and you will get 7 bonus votes. Do it. Help the kids. Vote here. 

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 Mike Krushelnyski
November 15 2013, 02:29PM
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no1curr

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#52 JJ
November 15 2013, 02:32PM
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I love coming to Gregor's GDB because no matter how much we suck, we can always anticipate his prediction which is usually something along the lines of "3-2 Oilers". Loving the optimism Gregor, albeit semi-delusional. Dubnyk only letting in 2 tonight? To the Sharks? Suree...

My prediction: 4-0 Sharks to continue the shutout streak. Let's be realists here. Unlike MacT and the gang.

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#53 Fresh Mess
November 15 2013, 02:33PM
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I'll be cheering for Smid and the Flames tomorrow.

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#54 TonyT
November 15 2013, 02:35PM
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Why is Arcobello sitting indeed? I was very onboard with the Eakins hiring, as he preached alot of the right things this team was missing: accountability, puck pursuit, good with young players, etc. However, all this criteria seems to have gone by the wayside...

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#55 BorisMironov2
November 15 2013, 02:36PM
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NSOGP - Joe Thorton scores 4 goals in the first period. After the fourth flutters in over dubnyk's shoulder, Jumbo Joe pulls a live rooster out of his pants and starts stroking it affectionately. After the game he opens his media scrum with "told ya I'd do it!" and then leaves to party at the Rack, where all the 18 year old girls have finally come to the realization that Hall and Eberle aren't worth their time anymore.

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#56 Wonger
November 15 2013, 02:36PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Exactly what kind of message is the coach sending to the team, and the fans by sitting the most productive offensive, defensive, and physical player we have in Arcebello?

For those who can see what is happening , this coach seem to have 22 deaf players.

Yea coaching is not our problem.

It is way past time to move one or three of the "stars?" out! Let's get some SIZE, GRIT and NASTINESS into this line up! I agree! EAKINS and MACT are not the problem! They are the solution! Eberle, J. Schultz, Gagner, Hemsky, Yakupov, Potter, Petry, N. Schultz, Flubnyk, LaBarbera, Larsen are the problem! CLEAN HOUSE!!!! I don't want anybody coming back, at any position except goal, that is under 6'3" 225LBS, averages less than 1 PIM per game played, and who hasn't had to attend ANGER MANAGMENT sessions because they can't handle LOSING! Simmonds, Ott, Lucic, etc. are the type of sweethearts the Oilers need desparately. PAY THE PRICE AND MAKE IT HAPPEN MACT!!!! ETEM, PRUST, T. JACKMAN, FOLIGNO, MAROON, NEIL, STEWART, REAVES, etc. etc. etc.!!!

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#57 Crooked
November 15 2013, 02:37PM
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It's probably not fair, but sitting Arcobello makes a bit of sense if you consider he's had points in just one of the past 10 games, and the team is desperate for scoring.

It also doesn't help he's been in all 20 games so far this season, and the team's only won 4 of them. Just 2 in regulation. They weren't winning with him in the line-up, can't hurt to see what happens without him.

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#58 Walter Sobchak
November 15 2013, 02:40PM
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The Oilers might win 7 games from now to January......Might.

This might be the worst stretch of hockey coming up the Oilers fans may ever see!

The only thing I ask is to beat Calgary! If the only games the Oilers win from here on out, I’ll I ask is just beat Calgary!

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#59 GTL
November 15 2013, 02:40PM
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Remember the good o'l daze when the only anger here was RB and his fist denial. Good times! ....A simpler time and place ... Now there's now... Thank you KL, its up there with Rob Ford!

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#60 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 02:40PM
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BingBong wrote:

So Matheson thinks the Preds would trade Weber for Eberle, J. Schultz & Gagner. I highly doubt it, but assuming this is true, then MacT should definitely be making that call.

Ooohhhh that would hurt. Eberle AND JSchultz? I know schultz hasn't had too many fans of late, but i think he'll figure out his D game and be a solid guy going forward.

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#61 pkam
November 15 2013, 02:45PM
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Gordie Wayne wrote:

#PositiveThoughts

Oh ya, and a bonus positive item because it is positive Friday:

Horcoff didn't score against us in the last game versus Dallas - come on, that has to count for something!

Here is one

Horcoff 5.5M till 2014-15, so far 19 games 2G 3A 5 pts.

Larsen 1.025M till 2013-14, so far 6 games 1G 4A 5 pts.

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#62 Taylor Gang
November 15 2013, 02:46PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Ooohhhh that would hurt. Eberle AND JSchultz? I know schultz hasn't had too many fans of late, but i think he'll figure out his D game and be a solid guy going forward.

Yeah then go to Buffalo and get Foligno and Ehrhoff for the 2014 1st (sarcasm)

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#63 Bob
November 15 2013, 02:46PM
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JJ wrote:

I love coming to Gregor's GDB because no matter how much we suck, we can always anticipate his prediction which is usually something along the lines of "3-2 Oilers". Loving the optimism Gregor, albeit semi-delusional. Dubnyk only letting in 2 tonight? To the Sharks? Suree...

My prediction: 4-0 Sharks to continue the shutout streak. Let's be realists here. Unlike MacT and the gang.

Yet he says he's not an Oiler fan, doesn't make a lot of sense...

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#64 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 02:49PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Yeah then go to Buffalo and get Foligno and Ehrhoff for the 2014 1st (sarcasm)

They have a new GM and coaching staff, i dont think anything significant is getting moved out of buffalo until the new coaching staff sorts out what the truly have.

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#65 pkam
November 15 2013, 02:52PM
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pkam wrote:

Here is one

Horcoff 5.5M till 2014-15, so far 19 games 2G 3A 5 pts.

Larsen 1.025M till 2013-14, so far 6 games 1G 4A 5 pts.

Forget to mention Larsen is 12 years younger. Horcoff 35, Larsen 23.

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#66 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 02:53PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Yeah then go to Buffalo and get Foligno and Ehrhoff for the 2014 1st (sarcasm)

Re: Sarcasm, are you implying that Eberle, jSchultz and gagner isn't enough for weber?

I'm in a haze until the work week is over so i'm having a hard time picking up what you're putting down.

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#67 Delphil
November 15 2013, 02:54PM
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Good effing hell, Arcobello. Don't resign here next season, you deserve better. Arcobello's benching is the epitome of everything wrong with the Oilers right now. OGDP: Eakins mentions accountability only 800 times after a loss

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#68 Oilspill
November 15 2013, 02:54PM
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Gregor. What's with the GDP? Is that a joke?

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#69 Mac962
November 15 2013, 02:59PM
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So is it ridiculous to perhaps have Big Boyd Gordon play centre on either the first or second line ? He may be the only one big enough to deal with Jumbo Joe. Yes, he is not really offensive gifted, but does it really matter. We need another Boyd and 2 more Perrons.

Sam should be getting 3rd line minutes right now and go against weaker [ if there is such a thing] sharks players.

Eakins said players who play well , will be rewarded with more minutes, i think Boyd deserves a shot in the top 6.

i Dont know if this game scares me more or tomorrow in craptown. I dont expect the Oil to win tonight but tomorrow, i damn right expect them to win.

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#70 Hemmercules
November 15 2013, 03:02PM
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Anyone know a good place to watch the Barons games online?? Might as see what Brys can do tonight.

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#71 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 03:04PM
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@Hemmercules

The only place i know of is to subscribe to a streaming site for hockey. Like: hockeystreams.net or .com or w/e the heck it is.

They have AHL games and you can 'subscribe' for a single day if you want to catch the game.

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#72 JJ
November 15 2013, 03:06PM
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PS.. Glad to see they sent the bastard Arco back down to OKC. He might be doing well, but good, tough teams, especially in the west, would have this guy helping out the farm.

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#73 pkam
November 15 2013, 03:10PM
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Mac962 wrote:

So is it ridiculous to perhaps have Big Boyd Gordon play centre on either the first or second line ? He may be the only one big enough to deal with Jumbo Joe. Yes, he is not really offensive gifted, but does it really matter. We need another Boyd and 2 more Perrons.

Sam should be getting 3rd line minutes right now and go against weaker [ if there is such a thing] sharks players.

Eakins said players who play well , will be rewarded with more minutes, i think Boyd deserves a shot in the top 6.

i Dont know if this game scares me more or tomorrow in craptown. I dont expect the Oil to win tonight but tomorrow, i damn right expect them to win.

That's why we rest Acrobello tonight. We want him to be a factor in the battle of Alberta tomorrow night.

We don't want him to get hurt by those big nasty bastards tonight. Can you imagine Jumbo Joe and Acrobello going into the board hard? Remember Mason Raymond vs Johnny Boychuk?

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#74 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 03:10PM
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JJ wrote:

PS.. Glad to see they sent the bastard Arco back down to OKC. He might be doing well, but good, tough teams, especially in the west, would have this guy helping out the farm.

AH HA! Mystery solved!

Arco had to be sent down because they recalled Klefbom (only so many roster spots boys). Arco was solid - for sure. But i really want to see Klefbom get a shot!

Actually, i totally forgot that other players could get sent down instead. i would have kept arco over guys like acton... so.. bah.

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#75 Eulers
November 15 2013, 03:12PM
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GDP: Sharks devour the Oilers. Joe Thornton scores 4 goals and the whole world gets to see why he's called "Big Joe" !!!

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#76 pkam
November 15 2013, 03:15PM
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pkam wrote:

Forget to mention Larsen is 12 years younger. Horcoff 35, Larsen 23.

Almost forget we also have a 7th round pick as well from that trade. Hopefully MacT can pull another Greg Chase.

Oh yea, Greg Chase, 7th round pick, 13G and 10A total 23 pts in 19 games, another positive.

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#77 JohnDoe
November 15 2013, 03:18PM
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I'm thinking if Edmonton trades Eberle than Hall will want to go to. Those two are butt buddies!

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#78 dougtheslug
November 15 2013, 03:24PM
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Oilers send down Marc Arcobello to OKC . Second best face off man, most responsible forward, one of their leading pointgetters. And keep the coaches son, a career minor leaguer going nowhere, on the roster. This team gets harder and harder to care about

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#79 JJ
November 15 2013, 03:25PM
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JohnDoe wrote:

I'm thinking if Edmonton trades Eberle than Hall will want to go to. Those two are butt buddies!

Hall and Eberle I'm on the fence if trading them is a good idea.. Snowpants, Schultz, need to be gone. Arco to OKC or try to get something from a trade.

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#80 Johnnydapunk
November 15 2013, 03:26PM
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Wow, Arcobello sent down, Klefbom up !?!?!? Rather baffling move unless there is a trade coming up, can anyone else make sense of this?

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#81 Devolution
November 15 2013, 03:26PM
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Surely they could have sent someone down before Arcobello...

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#82 BingBong
November 15 2013, 03:27PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Ooohhhh that would hurt. Eberle AND JSchultz? I know schultz hasn't had too many fans of late, but i think he'll figure out his D game and be a solid guy going forward.

Hey I like Schultz too and think he can be a Mike Green-type guy (hopefully), but if MacT doesn't make that trade he's nuts. But I'm betting the Preds would need more. We'd be sending them too much salary for one thing.

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#83 tileguy
November 15 2013, 03:28PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Oilers send down Marc Arcobello to OKC . Second best face off man, most responsible forward, one of their leading pointgetters. And keep the coaches son, a career minor leaguer going nowhere, on the roster. This team gets harder and harder to care about

Maybe they are saving money like they did with Smid.

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#84 Greenlingj
November 15 2013, 03:29PM
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Arcobello sent down... Klefbom called up...

WHY AND WHY!

Klefbom is in a fragile state rookie dman coming into a ship that is burning... fans are a pressure cooker waiting to boil over...

Arcobello is an amazing two way player... small but unreal with what he has done with his time here.

Accountability goes both ways just like HOCKEY MAC T..

Lets remove someone who is producing and bring up another young player with no back end experience.

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#85 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 03:31PM
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BingBong wrote:

Hey I like Schultz too and think he can be a Mike Green-type guy (hopefully), but if MacT doesn't make that trade he's nuts. But I'm betting the Preds would need more. We'd be sending them too much salary for one thing.

If it were evened out a bit with a bigger 3rd line guy that can skate, then i think i'd be good with it. It would give us an awesome D piece and a little more size amongst forwards. This guy would have to be bigger/taller and more capable than a guy like Ryan Jones (and I really like Jonesy!).

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#86 dougtheslug
November 15 2013, 03:35PM
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tileguy wrote:

Maybe they are saving money like they did with Smid.

Except according to Capgeek, Arcobello makes less than Acton. The resemblance between a professional hockey team and the Edmonton Oilers grows fainter with each passing day.

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#87 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 03:36PM
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Greenlingj wrote:

Arcobello sent down... Klefbom called up...

WHY AND WHY!

Klefbom is in a fragile state rookie dman coming into a ship that is burning... fans are a pressure cooker waiting to boil over...

Arcobello is an amazing two way player... small but unreal with what he has done with his time here.

Accountability goes both ways just like HOCKEY MAC T..

Lets remove someone who is producing and bring up another young player with no back end experience.

From the sounds of it, Mac T was always intending Klefbom to be the Smid upgrade. A Big body that can skate really well and can make excellent first passes. Smid was shipped out, so perhaps that is what opens the door for klefbom.

Also: to be fair, Klefbom played with men in Sweden so he's not as far behind the curve as you may think. sure the game is a different pace and is played differently, but in terms of Klefbom being able to handle his own physically, He should be fully capable of doing so already. if he's tasked with a simple game of pegging guys to the boards and keeping guys to the outside, he could work really well.

I'd rather see klefbom up here than Potter.

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#88 Dallylamma
November 15 2013, 03:48PM
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Gordie Wayne wrote:

Jason Gregor's truest line in the article:

"For some reason our society thrives on negativity too often."

In other words: "Why you heff to be negative?"

The comments section of this site has become far too negative and depressing in the past couple of weeks.

The fans of this team need to start sending out some positive vibes. From now on, I am going to post one positive item regarding the Oilers on every article posted here. I challenge the rest of you to do this too...

grumpycatno.jpeg

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#89 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 03:56PM
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Interesting stat: Bryzgalov has had as many or more shutouts in 1 season than Dubnyk has had in his entire career, 3 times.

Bryz SO's:
2009 - 8 SO
2010 - 7 SO
2011 - 6 SO

Devan Dubnyk - 6 SO in his entire career.

Bryz Career SO: 30
Duby Career SO: 6

Also, Bryzgalov has only had a losing record during 1 season (2008) where he went 26-31-6. He has had a winning record in every other season of his career.

"So you're saying there's a #Chance !? "

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#90 Walter Sobchak
November 15 2013, 04:00PM
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Zarny wrote:

No, coaching isn't the problem.

With Krueger last year, they finished 12th and were falling at the end of a 48 game season.

They weren't one win away from the Stanley Cup.

The problem is the players on the ice...or more specifically a lack of good players on the ice.

Through 48 games last year the Oilers gave up 134 goals.

They’ve given up 75 through 19. Now, I'm not a math wizard but I'm willing to bet that the Oilers through 48 games give up more goals then 134.

Through 48 games last year as you mentioned the Oilers sat 12, through 48 games this year my guess is the Oilers will sit 29th possible 30th.

We have virtually the same players as last year, and yet one could argue we got better positional players this year.

The PK has been worse while so has the PP.

You can argue till your blue in the face that it’s not coaching but even the most diehard Oiler fan has to concede that coaching hasn’t been great ether.

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#91 ThatButthurtOilersFan
November 15 2013, 04:04PM
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It absolutely boggles my mind that they sent down Arcobello. He's one of the hardest working players one the team, plus he's ten times better than Acton and Gagner combined. Ok, maybe a bit of a stretch, but my point is that you don't send down one of your best players. Who are they going to send down next, Yakupov? I can't wait to here Eakins/MacT's excuse for this.

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#92 Oil4Life
November 15 2013, 04:06PM
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So many negatives and wishing that "insert oilers player" gets injured..... its just a game guys. if your upset by how the oilers are playing then dont watch. I for one am excited to see if the oilers can play a solid game of hockey and beat those darn sharks who i dislike very much. gagner, hall, ebs and smyth get goals. dubnyck stands on his head and oilers win 4-1.

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#93 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 04:11PM
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@Walter Sobchak

A couple things:

1. The oilers finished 24th overall last year, 12th in the conference. So we're talking about a drop from 24 to 29/30, not 12th

2. The coaching is DIFFERENT. There is always an adjustment period when you experience change. When Ralph came in, he didn't change much due to not having a training camp and already being a part of the system the previous 2 years. Like Gregor has stated, over the last 8 game stretch, the Oilers Special teams has been good so it's likely the adjustment period is over with (for the most part).

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#94 Alsker
November 15 2013, 04:15PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Oilers send down Marc Arcobello to OKC . Second best face off man, most responsible forward, one of their leading pointgetters. And keep the coaches son, a career minor leaguer going nowhere, on the roster. This team gets harder and harder to care about

He was making Gagner look bad.

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#95 Crackenbury
November 15 2013, 04:20PM
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Arcobello sent down so Klefbom can be brought up?

I'm officially on the can Eakins and MacTavish bandwagon! Absolutely brutal message to be sending to the team and any potential future acquisitions. They seem to be going out of their way to break the spirit of this team.

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#96 Dallylamma
November 15 2013, 04:22PM
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I wouldn't trust the Oilers management team to run a bath right now, let alone a pro-sports franchise.

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#97 BingBong
November 15 2013, 04:29PM
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So Ference didn't skate this morning; if Klefbom doesn't get here for tonight, and Ference is out, we're going with 5 d-men? Yeah that doesn't make me nervous vs. SJ...

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#98 Alsker
November 15 2013, 04:35PM
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So they're going to expose Klefbom to this mess. The new shiny toy to parade out infront of the masses. All hail Lord 6 Rings, he gives us another saviour......Is there no depths this management team will not stoop to in hopes of pulling the wool over our eyes. If Katz is honestly oblivious to all this bs then I guess he deserves what is to come. Pitchforks, sickles and torches 109 st + Kingsway. Time TBA.

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#99 Naky
November 15 2013, 04:37PM
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@A-mc

Wow, I didn't know Bryzgalov got all those shutouts playing for the Oilers, the perennial worst team in the league with the league's worst d-corps for several years straight. That's amazing! I, too, like to assume that every statistic is equal and every situation is the same.

So if you couldn't tell, I'm saying your numbers are borderline worthless. Sorry to burst your bubble though.

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#100 Spydyr
November 15 2013, 04:43PM
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I'm in the market for a new ball cap. For the first time in over 30 years I'm not even considering getting an Oilers one.Team Canada sounds about right.At least we can cheer for a good team then.Also it is only a little more then a month to the World Juniors.It will be refreshing to see and cheer for a team that plays with heart and passion.

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