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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#201 Lowe Expectations
November 15 2013, 01:22PM
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Pretty sad when you consider scoring an actual goal would be an improvement.

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#202 Devolution
November 15 2013, 01:39PM
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I am only afraid of bears, bears in the woods."" That is just so awesome. I am looking forward to this guy.

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#203 fig pucker
November 15 2013, 01:42PM
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@jason isn't this what we do every year? watch our team play a pile of meaningless games and hope they come together as a team, hope that they learn from their mistakes and learn how to play a sound 2 way game? every year we plug a hole or two (ie this year face offs and for a while scoring five on five) only to have two more holes burst open (ie special teams and goaltending). it's like running on a treadmill, you never get anywhere. even if this group comleatly cleaned every aspect of their game up with the remainder of the season and it's meaningless games i have no confidence that they could carry it over to next season when the games matter. i know this rant sounds negitve, but we've all seen this movie to many times and what makes you think this time is any different? hire bill muray to advise us on how to end the groundhog day curse.

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#204 The Towel Boy
November 15 2013, 01:59PM
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NSOGDP:

Yakupov leads the field through two rounds at 9 under.

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#205 northof51
November 15 2013, 02:04PM
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Arc is not in the lineup?!?!?!?!

*sharpens pitchfork and dips torch in kerosene*

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#206 Yak T
November 15 2013, 02:11PM
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Just gave up with posting scores in the schedule tab?

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#207 Hemmercules
November 15 2013, 02:21PM
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j.0 wrote:

you guys suck,

hilarious we might win tonight..ahahaha

a new start....ahahha

same old BS "watch how good we will be next year"

in summary you guys suck its in the water.

To be fair, no one is saying "watch how good we will be next year". Anyone who believes that is beyond koolaid.

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#208 OilerLand
November 15 2013, 02:25PM
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"I don't wanna see Maurice tonight, I WANT THE ROCKET!"

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#209 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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#210 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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#211 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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#212 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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#213 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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#214 Devolution
November 15 2013, 03:26PM
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Surely they could have sent someone down before Arcobello...

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#215 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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#216 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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#217 camdog
November 15 2013, 04:54PM
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Naky wrote:

@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.

I think that some of the logic MacT used when he signed Jason Labarbera

Save percentages as team mates in Phoenix: Bryzgalov 2009-2010: .921 2010-2011: .920 Labarbera 2009-2010: .928 2009-2010 .909

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#218 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 04:55PM
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Naky wrote:

@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.

Some more stats to further my train of thought that Bryz might not be as bad as we think:

2009 - 1st in SO: 9 Bryz: 8 (2nd) 2010 - 1st in SO: 11 Bryz: 7 (4th) 2011 - 1st in SO: 10 Bryz: 6 (Tied 5th)

Again: winning record in nearly every year he played. There is a small chance that he actually works out for us for a short while..a Chance!

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#219 pkam
November 15 2013, 04:57PM
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A-Mc wrote:

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 !? "

Just one question, how many SO Bryz had when he was not playing for the Coyotes?

Mike Smith couldn't stop a volley ball in Tampa Bay, see how he is doing now in Phoenix.

I am not completely negative on Bryz. But I am not completely positive neither. Have you wonder why Philly bought him out with 7 years left in his contract?

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#220 Pucker
November 15 2013, 05:03PM
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Arcobello ??

I don't like that this small forward was arguably the Oiler's consistantly hardest working, most dependable player, but he was arguably the Oiler's consistantly hardest working, most dependable player . . . why??

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#221 A-Mc
November 15 2013, 05:04PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I never said where they finished overall last year, just 12 in the division.

I said where they would finish this year, so I'm not sure what you are getting at there?

I also never said anything about Ralph or Dallas, I'm simply comparing statistic.,

frankly, I don’t care if it’s a different coach or the same coach, the overall record speaks for itself.

As you stated, over the last 8 game the special teams have been better, which is more likely accurate?

The last 8 games or the last 19? During the last 19 games the Oilers have been terrible, the last 8 games so-so.

"I never said where they finished overall last year, just 12 in the division"

Prior: "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." You compare sitting 12th through 48 (entire season) with sitting 29/30 after 48 this season. You're making a comparison to say we will go from 12th to 29/30 in 48 games and that is inaccurate. 12th in the conference was actually 24th overall. So you should be comparing 24th overall to 29/30 overall.

Yes you did bring up coaching. your reply was to a conversation re: coaching and you finish off your post by mentioning a coaching fail. Did you read your own post?

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#222 pkam
November 15 2013, 05:14PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Some more stats to further my train of thought that Bryz might not be as bad as we think:

2009 - 1st in SO: 9 Bryz: 8 (2nd) 2010 - 1st in SO: 11 Bryz: 7 (4th) 2011 - 1st in SO: 10 Bryz: 6 (Tied 5th)

Again: winning record in nearly every year he played. There is a small chance that he actually works out for us for a short while..a Chance!

I think we have better chance if we can pry the Coyotes goalie coach here.

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#223 Drake
November 15 2013, 05:15PM
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Jason,

You will like this one

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/11/15/video-jean-claude-van-dammmmmnnnn/

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#224 Walter Sobchak
November 15 2013, 05:21PM
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A-Mc wrote:

"I never said where they finished overall last year, just 12 in the division"

Prior: "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." You compare sitting 12th through 48 (entire season) with sitting 29/30 after 48 this season. You're making a comparison to say we will go from 12th to 29/30 in 48 games and that is inaccurate. 12th in the conference was actually 24th overall. So you should be comparing 24th overall to 29/30 overall.

Yes you did bring up coaching. your reply was to a conversation re: coaching and you finish off your post by mentioning a coaching fail. Did you read your own post?

Zany actually mentioned that the Oilers finished 12th in the division, I was reiterating what he had said.

I don’t care if its 24th overall or 12th in the division, I simply said they WILL finish 29 or 30th this year.

I did mention coaching, while not completely blaming coaching, it has to be considered! That’s illogical to you? It can’t be coaching even a little?

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#225 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
November 15 2013, 05:23PM
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CHOP WOOD

CARRY WATER

WTF?!?

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#226 kale
November 15 2013, 05:27PM
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Logan Couture said last night that the Sharks are going to be playing against an Oiler team that has something to prove, he said it is going to be difficult coming into the Oiler building. I think Logan is being pessimistic, seriously Logan most teams dont find rexall place that intimidating, in fact most find it therapeutic.

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#227 Loweblows
November 15 2013, 05:29PM
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A buffalo win and oiler loss tonight and we own last place.

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#228 Taylor Gang
November 15 2013, 05:31PM
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A-Mc wrote:

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.

I don't even know what I meant by that tbh. I feel like it doesn't matter who we bring in, we'll still find a way to lose

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#229 Craig MacTambeloweni
November 15 2013, 06:47PM
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I'm an Oilers fan..and I'm pissed off.

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#230 Rama Lama
November 15 2013, 06:53PM
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Wonger wrote:

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.!!!

Yea Wonger I LIKE YOU BUT YOU DO NOT SEE TO UNDERSTAND SCARCASM!!!!

Go OIL

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#231 dougtheslug
November 15 2013, 06:53PM
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Bryz has made 6 stops out of 7 so far end of first period (.857 save percentage.Admittedly small sample size)

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#232 Fatbob24
November 15 2013, 07:04PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Bryz has made 6 stops out of 7 so far end of first period (.857 save percentage.Admittedly small sample size)

Of his first game...

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#233 Spydyr
November 15 2013, 07:10PM
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You know what would be bold?

Scoring a goal on home ice this month.

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#234 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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#235 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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#236 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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#237 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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#238 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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#239 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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#240 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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#241 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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#242 120 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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#243 120 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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#244 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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#245 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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#246 jbogus
November 15 2013, 08:32PM
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Thoughtful on the zamboni driver - using half the ice

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#247 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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#248 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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#249 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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#250 jbogus
November 15 2013, 08:43PM
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Thoughtful on the LEDs on scoreboard too.

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