SKID HALTED

Brian Sutherby
November 17 2013 08:33AM

It's only one win, against a team that isn't very good but it was nice to see some fire and the Oilers offense come to life in the third period. This team needs any positive energy they can get these days and who better to start with than the Flames?

It’s going to take way more than one good period to fix this squad and for 40 minutes it looked like every other game this season but they pulled it out.

BAD

The first period was not the type of period you would expect to see from a team that should be desperate for wins. For a good part of the first 40 minutes the Flames had control of the game. Both Flames goals were once again a direct result of turn overs.

For whatever reason the importance of making strong plays with the puck and keeping it out of the middle of the ice in your own end doesn’t quite resonate with this group. The defensemen were especially soft with the puck and if it wasn't for Dubnyk, many more giveaways could have easily ended up in their net.

GOOD

I really liked Gazdic’s fight tonight. The anti-fighting crowd will say “oh it was just another staged fight and served no purpose.”

I thought this was a great message to his team. Gazdic is tough but he’s not Brian McGrattan tough and I think most of the Oilers players would agree. Instead of hoping for a quiet game, he initiates a tilt with one of the toughest guys in the league and hangs in there for a very spirited scrap.

Did he win?

Probably not, but he didn’t lose. By his actions, he says to his bench that he’s willing to step up and challenge someone much bigger in his role. If he can do it, everyone else should be able to ask a little more of themselves.

When I saw guys do things like that, whether it was a guy fighting someone he probably shouldn’t or a skill guy out of his element blocking a shot or taking a run at someone, it made me want to do more. It makes guys look at themselves in the mirror and say if he’s willing to give more, why can’t I?

FERENCE

On most nights the only physical element (hitting and fighting) in the Oilers lineup has been Gazdic. I was waiting and hoping for someone other than Gazdic to step up and say enough is enough.

The players talk after every game of frustration and anger, yet we’ve never really seen anyone show it on the ice or channel it in an aggressive way. I really wanted to see someone you wouldn’t expect get pissed off. Run someone, slash someone or just yell at someone.  It’s not in the make-up of many of these players but finally someone did.

Ference gets hit twice in one shift and instead of rolling over, he got up and cleaned Stempniak's clock. There has not been near enough push back in any form of physicality with this group, but it was great to see last night. Good on the Captain.

DUBNYK

As mentioned above, he bailed his boys out on several occasions. It was a very solid game from him. You need your goalies to make a big save or two in any game, he did that tonight.

THIRD PERIOD

This was arguably their best period of the season. You could see the jump the Eberle goal gave them. It seemed like a weight was lifted off their backs. After his goal they completely took over. The offensive production came from all the players you would expect.

The way they generated their opportunities was the key for me. They created a ton off the cycle, they were more physical and they sustained pressure in the offensive zone for most of the third. That has rarely happened all season.

WINNING

Losing sucks no matter who you are and going through skids like this is just awful as a player and miserably hard on fans. It seems like no matter what you do on the ice; it’s just not good enough to get a winning result.

They still have a long way to go and I don’t think one period means anything but at least something positive went their way for the first time in a long time.

Look at the emotion after the third period goals, all of these guys want to win. It’s just a matter of figuring out how with this group.

Finding consistency is next.

C76a4c69c9026575581a01d4ac34111c
A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
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#101 Mikey
November 17 2013, 03:57PM
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DSF wrote:

I would imagine Andrew Ference has a date with Brian McGratton next time these teams play.

Had the score not been close last night, Ference would likely be a little battered and bruised today after an unprovoked attack on a woozy player who didn't want to fight.

Mark December 7th on your calendar.

I have heard this before. I think Zac Kassian was supposed to watch his back. Lucic in Buffalo, ect.

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#102 Ed in Edmonton
November 17 2013, 04:12PM
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I would love for RNH, Ganger and Eberle to bring up theirs sticks to protect themselves from a hit and do some in game dental surgery. It worked for Dino Cicarreli and Luc Robataille. Anything they can do to make more room for themselves is a good thing.

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#103 RexHolez
November 17 2013, 04:16PM
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What's with all the dubnyk love? He's the reason this team started off the rails and put this team into a tail spin! Who cares if be can put up average numbers after the season is over.... Again... He's not a quality number 1 like this team needs! Can't wait for Breezy

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#104 Mikey
November 17 2013, 04:17PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I would love for RNH, Ganger and Eberle to bring up theirs sticks to protect themselves from a hit and do some in game dental surgery. It worked for Dino Cicarreli and Luc Robataille. Anything they can do to make more room for themselves is a good thing.

Yep.

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#105 Dave
November 17 2013, 04:20PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Yeah I must not care. Calling into radio shows and posting on blogs for over a decade and watching the oilers play when I was living in Newfoundland when the puck drop was 11:30 nl time - that was all stuff that I did out of boredom.

If you have ever heard me on the radio sometimes you would know you are clueless about my level of enthusiasm/passion.

And as for my supposed relentless negativity - go back and read some of my comments on players like RNH and Hall and yak. There are future hall of famers on this team. Their careers are being destroyed by the owners and management. And mindless, unconditional support by fans makes them enablers in the destruction.

Being critical and demanding of management and - sometimes - players is a vital function for fans of a team to perform. It is they as customers who are the ultimate pressure point on management. Try and help out some time.

Yes, I have heard Serious Gord on the radio many times pretending to be a in the know hockey insider. A high-brow version of Daily Doug.

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#106 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 04:27PM
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Dave wrote:

Yes, I have heard Serious Gord on the radio many times pretending to be a in the know hockey insider. A high-brow version of Daily Doug.

Never, ever have i put myself forth as a hockey insider. You must be a very poor listener.

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#107 W.M.D.
November 17 2013, 04:31PM
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DSF wrote:

I would imagine Andrew Ference has a date with Brian McGratton next time these teams play.

Had the score not been close last night, Ference would likely be a little battered and bruised today after an unprovoked attack on a woozy player who didn't want to fight.

Mark December 7th on your calendar.

Calendar marked. But it's not gonna happen. Why, you say? Steve MacIntyre would then have to thro a beat down on MacGratton just like he did on Raitis Ivanãns. A 6'05", Nuclear Deterrent. Lights out, thanks for comin.

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#108 Ed in Edmonton
November 17 2013, 04:37PM
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I did not see the game last night, so cannot offer any specific comment on Ference vs Stempniak. However, I am surprised about the concern about whether what Ference did was "fair". WTF does "fairness" have to do with professional sports? Did Semenko ever worry about whether his next fight was going to be "fair" He just beat the crap out anyone he wanted to and Gretzky had a lot of room to move.

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#109 sec206
November 17 2013, 04:57PM
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stempniak dropped his gloves and got beat up, end of story

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#110 Fresh Mess
November 17 2013, 05:11PM
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Dockstaff wrote:

Perhaps you should switch to Figure Skating or Tennis? You clearly don't have the stomach for hockey... at least nothing higher than Pee-Wee!

Perhaps you should stick to WWF, or UFC shows. You clearly don't have the desire/ability to evolve beyond that element of society.

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#111 Eddie Shore
November 17 2013, 05:30PM
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@Serious Gord

Why soo serioussssss?

The Oilers won Gord and wins far and few between right now so why not enjoy it? Life is too short to be doom and gloom all the time.

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#112 Dave
November 17 2013, 05:45PM
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@Serious Gord

OK ..but you do come across as a little pompous on the radio. To your favour I have always found you to be articulate and knowlegable.

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#113 Hat Pughes
November 17 2013, 06:12PM
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DSF wrote:

I would imagine Andrew Ference has a date with Brian McGratton next time these teams play.

Had the score not been close last night, Ference would likely be a little battered and bruised today after an unprovoked attack on a woozy player who didn't want to fight.

Mark December 7th on your calendar.

Not going to happen...McGrattan plays by the code.

Props to Ference though for upping the intimidation factor and forcing Stempniak to drop em.

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#114 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 06:26PM
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Dave wrote:

OK ..but you do come across as a little pompous on the radio. To your favour I have always found you to be articulate and knowlegable.

I prefer bombastic.

Radio is a hot medium whereas TV/video is a cool one (or at least used to be - opinion tv is very hot indeed). So being a bit over the top makes for better more listenable radio.

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#115 Dog Train
November 17 2013, 06:43PM
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Hopefully this win win gets them some confidence. I hate to look at the schedule but we do have some winnable games coming up. A winning streak would be very welcome after the incredibly frustrating start to the season.

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#116 Oiler Al
November 17 2013, 06:50PM
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Mikey wrote:

I have heard this before. I think Zac Kassian was supposed to watch his back. Lucic in Buffalo, ect.

Ya, well how about Oilers sending "Career Ender" MacIntyre after McGrattan.He ended one Flames career already.

Tough life in the gorilla cage these days.

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#117 Jzed
November 17 2013, 07:14PM
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The Ference sequence: was it Backlund who broke his stick over Ference's head on the 1st hit? You clearly see Ference pissed and thinking about chasing the Phlegm down, but the play continues, no penalty, of course, and the next thing you know , Stempniak decides this is a good time to assert himself. Bad freaking choice. The uncalled high stick and the need to remind Lee who he is dictated the entire course of events.

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#118 David S
November 17 2013, 08:07PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I prefer bombastic.

Radio is a hot medium whereas TV/video is a cool one (or at least used to be - opinion tv is very hot indeed). So being a bit over the top makes for better more listenable radio.

This is the texbook definition of someone who takes themselves WAYYYY too seriously. Those GC's from Ruth's Chris don't mean you're a paid media celebrity. You do know that, right?

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#119 Gkpoil
November 17 2013, 10:52PM
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pkam wrote:

That is a clean shoulder to shoulder hit. He didn't jump and didn't lift his elbow and didn't target Ference head. You can spin all you want, I have watched the video replay many times. If you are interested to watch it again, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcACqn1exm8

Stempniak didn't hit Ference at his head even though Ference put his head down and himself in a vulnerable position. Can't blame Stempniak for your own stupidity.

CLEAN? I'm not sure if you know what interference is, but to be eligable to be hit you must have possession of the puck.... Ference did not, (watch your replay). Dirty hit justifies Stempniak getting his ass kicked, period.

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#120 camdog
November 17 2013, 11:15PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Ferrence's actions were disgusting. He attacked a dazed and unwilling participant and caused him injury. He was hit cleanly and reacted with cowardly assault. I expect him to be suspended.

You might want to change your screen name. When I see Mess in your handle I think of Mark Messier. I don't know if you were born when he played with the Oilers, but he was one of the meanst Sob's to ever play the game. If you thought what Ference did was bad, you would have absolutely hated Mark Messier!

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#121 Sidney Frosby
November 17 2013, 11:22PM
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W.M.D. wrote:

Calendar marked. But it's not gonna happen. Why, you say? Steve MacIntyre would then have to thro a beat down on MacGratton just like he did on Raitis Ivanãns. A 6'05", Nuclear Deterrent. Lights out, thanks for comin.

Didn't Macgrattan beat Steve Mac and that was we thought was the last of Steve Mac....

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aPnZgdurU5E

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#122 CaptainLander
November 18 2013, 08:50AM
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If Emery did not get suspended for his assault, I doubt Ference would. FOr those that don't like it, it's hockey, it's rough. Grow a pair or stop watching it.

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#123 Serious Gord
November 18 2013, 09:22AM
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CaptainLander wrote:

If Emery did not get suspended for his assault, I doubt Ference would. FOr those that don't like it, it's hockey, it's rough. Grow a pair or stop watching it.

Emery didn't get suspended because there was no rule against what he did.

However, apparently the league is looking at creating some sort of rule or different directive to the referees and linesman.

thus in that regard it was such an egregious act that the league is actually going to changes rules/protocols to prevent it from ever happening again.

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#124 northof51
November 18 2013, 09:53AM
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Gkpoil wrote:

CLEAN? I'm not sure if you know what interference is, but to be eligable to be hit you must have possession of the puck.... Ference did not, (watch your replay). Dirty hit justifies Stempniak getting his ass kicked, period.

Agreed.

I hate staged fights. This, the Ference vs. Stempniak fight, is the reason fighting should exist. A guy takes a liberty on you, you defend yourself. No hired goons. Just emotion and anger!

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#125 Darrell
November 18 2013, 10:03AM
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pkam wrote:

That is a clean shoulder to shoulder hit. He didn't jump and didn't lift his elbow and didn't target Ference head. You can spin all you want, I have watched the video replay many times. If you are interested to watch it again, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcACqn1exm8

Stempniak didn't hit Ference at his head even though Ference put his head down and himself in a vulnerable position. Can't blame Stempniak for your own stupidity.

He kicked his ass just because - no reply needed a-holes .... It's about time too!

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#126 Darrell
November 18 2013, 10:21AM
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pkam wrote:

Can't agree with you more.

Just imagine if Eberle or RNH hits an opponent player and get some teeth knocked out even if he does want to engage in the fight.

If we were the receiving end of that incident, pretty sure those cheer for this fight will be calling that a crime.

Some times a good ass kicking show enough is enough you gutless anti-Oiler crap talking fool. Its time old time hockey chicklets were spit up for the knee on knee crap and head shots ?

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#127 Ari Gold
November 18 2013, 10:40AM
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Suspendable, deplorable or not, I'm happy to see that a few of the Oilers actually have a pulse.

I must say though that I'm a little disappointed that they pulled this one out. Winning only pacifies us and prevents the team from hitting rock bottom. Only that would beckon change. Hopefully the healthy kind. You know. Like cutting out a tumor. Ours is called Lowe-phoma.

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#128 smiliegirl15
November 18 2013, 10:41AM
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Playing 15 minutes worth of hockey, even though it turned out to be the right 15 minutes, shouldn't be acceptable! I really liked those 15 minutes of their game and I loved Ference's fight. Stempniak deserved it. It was nice to win for a change.

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