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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#151 Greg the Hammer Valentine
November 15 2013, 07:10PM
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@reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)

Couldn't agree more. And the Flames got Brian Burke now.

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#152 dougtheslug
November 15 2013, 07:23PM
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Bryz 8 saves in 11 shots.Midway through the second.(.727 save percentage.Admittedly small sample size)

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#153 I tried it at home
November 15 2013, 07:24PM
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Im wearing a new hat at different bar, drinking kokanee and sailor jerrys instead of keiths and cap'n morgans. Im doing all I can, damn it.

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#154 Rama Lama
November 15 2013, 07:26PM
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I should clarify what I posted, I cannot understand why Mr. Fitness would not play his most consistent player Arcobello. He has out played his peers offensively, defensively, and physically and yet he gets scratched.

This is so far from what a reasonable coach would do........I can only say this is another retarded Eakins coaching move, right from the bantam book.

The only thing left for him is to make Duby play left wing........it's coming bet on it!

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#155 Butters
November 15 2013, 07:30PM
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TonyT wrote:

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...

Next time MacT interviews a coach, maybe he will ask HOW he will get accountability, puck pursuit etc.

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#156 DSF
November 15 2013, 07:36PM
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Buffalo wins.

Oilers 30th.

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#157 YFC Prez
November 15 2013, 07:43PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I should clarify what I posted, I cannot understand why Mr. Fitness would not play his most consistent player Arcobello. He has out played his peers offensively, defensively, and physically and yet he gets scratched.

This is so far from what a reasonable coach would do........I can only say this is another retarded Eakins coaching move, right from the bantam book.

The only thing left for him is to make Duby play left wing........it's coming bet on it!

I can understand the desire to get Acton in on the 4th line vs the sharks.

But If it were up to me I would put Gags upstairs for a game and move Arco to second line C then slot Acton on the 4th.

Gagner has been struggling mightily and Arco has been nothing but one of the most consistent oilers this season.

Makes no sense whatsoever....unless Arco is sick or something

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#158 I Remember the Orange Jerseys
November 15 2013, 07:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Buffalo wins.

Oilers 30th.

Well then, it’s official. Time to replace the Octane Girls.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OndJp6Dcwjk

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#159 YFC Prez
November 15 2013, 07:49PM
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DSF wrote:

Buffalo wins.

Oilers 30th.

Oilers 30th again.....They should just permanently attach that 30th on the logo somewhere and be done with it.

Half of what has been said about this team in the last 4 years has been accompanied by "30th" place or "last place" oilers.

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#160 Fresh Mess
November 15 2013, 07:52PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Bryz 8 saves in 11 shots.Midway through the second.(.727 save percentage.Admittedly small sample size)

Oh dear.

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#161 Loweblows
November 15 2013, 07:53PM
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Watch them let arco go for nothing- he will turn into a career 3 rd line centre , have a long career and probably score a number of goal against us over the next decade. Why do we need Arco when we have Keith oops I mean Will Acton on our team, he is so much better than Arco. LOL THIS ORGANIZATION IS RUN BY MONKEYS!!

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#162 Alsker
November 15 2013, 07:54PM
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Total epic fck up by MacTBlowe, we lose Arco to OKC based on contracts to make room for Kbom. Well maybe the should mount a camera on Gags helmut, the ice level shot from our blueline of the sharks swarming our net would look pretty cool Im sure. Really hope Craig comes with the name of the position 89 plays cause it is NOT 2C,1C,3C,2RW,2LW or checking forward. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh, beer simply does not help anymore, the baffoons need to put out of our misery. QSB I truly think you're being optimistic 7-2 Sharks?? What in the 2nd?

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#163 madjam
November 15 2013, 07:56PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Oilers 30th again.....They should just permanently attach that 30th on the logo somewhere and be done with it.

Half of what has been said about this team in the last 4 years has been accompanied by "30th" place or "last place" oilers.

I think I see MacT.'s improvement now - under my microscope .

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#164 DSF
November 15 2013, 07:56PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Oilers 30th again.....They should just permanently attach that 30th on the logo somewhere and be done with it.

Half of what has been said about this team in the last 4 years has been accompanied by "30th" place or "last place" oilers.

They should make every Oiler players wear #30 until they make the playoffs.

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#165 YFC Prez
November 15 2013, 07:58PM
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@Alsker

When your an oilers fan Rum or Whiskey is the new beer.

Anything less than 80 proof just won't get you through the game.

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#166 Fresh Mess
November 15 2013, 08:00PM
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One thing I don't understand is the hate towards Acton. He's an honest player who gives it his all nightly.

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#167 YFC Prez
November 15 2013, 08:13PM
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Wow they assigned Arco...Sweet baby Jebus that's mind perplexingly stupid!?

He's tied for the lead in rookie scoring, wins draws and is one of the 2 forwards along with Gordon who can play defence...I though he was just sitting for a game, that would be dumb in itself... this is level 9 stupid!

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#168 jbogus
November 15 2013, 08:17PM
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Love a good 2 on 1 ....not when we have PP tho

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#169 120 stitches
November 15 2013, 08:19PM
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The lack of judgment in demoting Arcobello is further exacerbated when you examine why this occurred. It is difficult to comprehend why a NHL team is not carrying an extra defenseman on its active roster when it's farm team is at least 2 flights away. . For instance, these days it is not uncommon for players to be injured in pre game drills. This is another example of this organization's lack of attention to detail. As I understand it, there was a risk they were going to start the game with 5 defencemen. That should never happen at this level of hockey.

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#170 120 stitches
November 15 2013, 08:19PM
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The lack of judgment in demoting Arcobello is further exacerbated when you examine why this occurred. It is difficult to comprehend why a NHL team is not carrying an extra defenseman on its active roster when it's farm team is at least 2 flights away. . For instance, these days it is not uncommon for players to be injured in pre game drills. This is another example of this organization's lack of attention to detail. As I understand it, there was a risk they were going to start the game with 5 defencemen. That should never happen at this level of hockey.

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#171 Mike Wazowski
November 15 2013, 08:22PM
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@Spydyr

I'm good with you finding a new team. Been tired of your constant b1tching and ragging on the team anyway.

Hope you don't pull anything jumping on and off the bandwagon.

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#172 Mike Wazowski
November 15 2013, 08:28PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Stamkos was injured in the last couple of nights, if I'm not mistaken. A little different than several weeks of Hall out. Plus first in the east puts them just right around the playoff cut line in the west.

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#173 Johnnydapunk
November 15 2013, 08:29PM
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They just mentioned that Bryzgalov has been shelled for 5 goals on 24 shots, oh dear.....

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#174 BingBong
November 15 2013, 08:31PM
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I love Hall, but has one of those toe-drags ever worked?

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#175 jbogus
November 15 2013, 08:32PM
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Thoughtful on the zamboni driver - using half the ice

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#176 Fresh Mess
November 15 2013, 08:42PM
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HAHAHAHAHa....Ferrence slew foots his own goalie for a goal against....

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#177 BingBong
November 15 2013, 08:43PM
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Bah. We haven't even had one good chance yet. They create nothing. They must have zero confidence.

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#178 Johnnydapunk
November 15 2013, 08:43PM
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This will not help at all but at least the Kids seem alright in OKC, Horak put in 2 assists and Grebs even got a goal!

Barons Game Report v Heat

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#179 jbogus
November 15 2013, 08:43PM
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Thoughtful on the LEDs on scoreboard too.

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#180 I tried it at home
November 15 2013, 08:44PM
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I remember when Jussi Markinen was called Juicy Rebound. Can we recycle that nickname for dubny? Or just stick with "double your stats boy"

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#181 Alsker
November 15 2013, 08:47PM
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Man that was way to easy. just you like you draw it up. Both D chase puck carrier behind net and plop its in. Frustration already showing, feel for the guys who know how to win.

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#182 YFC Prez
November 15 2013, 08:49PM
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14 shots against in that period. Ouch.

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#183 Tokenhill
November 15 2013, 08:51PM
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ONLY 2:0 after first period!!!! ladies and gents. oilers is improving. Sending Acro down is now looking like such a brilliant move. plan the parade!

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#184 Shooter
November 15 2013, 08:52PM
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I'm actually impressed it took that long for the Sharks to get those first 2 goals. If the Oilers can hold them to 2 goals per period for a 6-0 loss, let's build on that.

Good job Lowe. Doing great up there bud. You have earned your high paying job with a proven track record of success. Wait. No you haven't. You have proven you are horrible at your job. Wonder why you are still employed? Oh ya right. You are best buds with the owner.

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#185 Stack Pad Save
November 15 2013, 08:54PM
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"What did the coach say about taking too many penalties?" says Perron. Yakupov replies "you can understand the coach?" Smyth yells at them both. "Don't you listen? Coach said take penalties against them; give your heads a shake and listen to the Coach boys." Than procedures to check his own hearing aid.

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#186 Gerald R. Ford
November 15 2013, 08:55PM
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DSF wrote:

Buffalo wins.

Oilers 30th.

And Ted Nolan has as many home victories as Dallas Eakins.

Heh.

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#187 Stack Pad Save
November 15 2013, 08:57PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

One thing I don't understand is the hate towards Acton. He's an honest player who gives it his all nightly.

Not Actons fault. Management doesn't understand.

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#188 vetinari
November 15 2013, 09:05PM
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Question of the night:

Will we even get 1 goal?

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#189 Rod from Viking
November 15 2013, 09:06PM
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Loweblows wrote:

Watch them let arco go for nothing- he will turn into a career 3 rd line centre , have a long career and probably score a number of goal against us over the next decade. Why do we need Arco when we have Keith oops I mean Will Acton on our team, he is so much better than Arco. LOL THIS ORGANIZATION IS RUN BY MONKEYS!!

Does anyone remember Ray Whitney one time Oiler given away for nothing at about the same age and size.

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#190 Alsker
November 15 2013, 09:07PM
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I hate watching highlights, teams and crowds excited, tense, the thrill of the win, the horror of defeat. Its been a generation since we've had that. I hate you Kevin. Fire Lowe Fire Lowe Fire Lowe Fire Lowe!!!

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#191 Zamboni Driver
November 15 2013, 09:08PM
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Sharks Powerplay

Starts whistling 'Sweet Georgia Brown'...

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#192 Serious Gord
November 15 2013, 09:09PM
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Freaking clinic...

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#193 Zamboni Driver
November 15 2013, 09:11PM
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Hemsky is still on the Oilers?!

Said by daughter who remembers 2006.

Sorta - sez I.

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#194 Rod from Viking
November 15 2013, 09:11PM
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Has Eakins mentioned we could use more Hemsky's on this team as of late, Ryan Smyth, you have been a warrior but you are done and I can't defend you any more. 3-0 wow.

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#195 Walter Sobchak
November 15 2013, 09:11PM
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Mike Wazowski wrote:

Stamkos was injured in the last couple of nights, if I'm not mistaken. A little different than several weeks of Hall out. Plus first in the east puts them just right around the playoff cut line in the west.

What's that? I can't hear you over all the shots bouncing of Dubnyk.

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#196 Jerry
November 15 2013, 09:11PM
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This is not fair Oilers are playing a NHL team.

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#197 God
November 15 2013, 09:12PM
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Boy oh boy did Belov not read that 3 on 2 properly. This Oiler lineup is pathetic.

I find myself actually hoping and almost cheering for the Sharks to light up our Oil. The more embarrassing it gets, the closer it gets us to some true 'bold' changes.

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#198 Randy
November 15 2013, 09:13PM
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I wonder how the Oilers would do in the AHL. Probably a playoff team

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#199 jbogus
November 15 2013, 09:14PM
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Snipe. Probably more defence shown in the beer queue.

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#200 RexHolez
November 15 2013, 09:15PM
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Can't teams just start spotting us 3 goals to start?? It's not fair!! every team tries and have professional players and stuff...

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