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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#1 Reagan
November 17 2013, 08:38AM
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In Calgary for the win. Funny that I have to drive three hours south to finally see one, but the corps looks I got wearing my Oilers Jersey was priceless... I got teased... Haha

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#2 15w40
November 17 2013, 08:41AM
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They say never to critique a win - they won, good for them, they should be happy.

Let's be honest, that win would only happen against calgary or a team like them.

Hopefully it kick starts something but 20 minutes of OK hockey and 40 minutes of watching your goalie try and preserve a chance of coming back is not a recipe for success.

Given that 2 of the 3 goals would be considered fluke or bad.

Still a fan, just not going to resume the koolaid consumption quite yet.

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#3 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
November 17 2013, 08:51AM
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A win is a win

I don't care who it's against

Suck it Calgary

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#4 MessyEH!
November 17 2013, 08:51AM
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I like Perrons game. Great pick up MacT. I have been waiting for the Ferrence I saw in the playoffs to emerge. Last night was a good start. He needs to play tough and dirty to be effective.

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#5 VK63
November 17 2013, 08:57AM
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It was interesting to see how tenuous a thread the confidence of poor teams hangs on. Berra letting in soft and stoppable goals was a huge boot in the junk to the flames even though they were the superior team on the evening overall. It was reminiscent of some of the oiler offerings of the first ten games of the year.

However... Moral victories count for nothing and the flames get to eat a big helping of sh*t. Drunk wanye and Benny hill songs appear to be the keys to victory. :))

Furthermore.... Dana White is a douche

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#6 The Swarm
November 17 2013, 08:57AM
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Gazdic and Ferrence (great punch btw) won this game for the Oilers. They were dead in the water until these guys injected some emotion into the game.

Talent + Emotion = Success

Hopefully they have a line brawl every game for the remainder of the season.

As Cherry said last night, it seems to be working for the Flyers.

When's MacIntrye back?

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#7 THRNHJE
November 17 2013, 08:57AM
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Consistency, it is SO key for this team. We all know this team is capable of greatness, we have seen them absolutely demolish solid teams like Chicago and Vancouver.

If this team can just play 60 minutes of solid hockey even 80% of their games, then they are a playoff team. That consistency has just yet to be seen. As a die hard Oilers fan I really hope they can find it from more players than the only two consistent players this year: Gordon and Arcobello.

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#8 THRNHJE
November 17 2013, 08:59AM
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@VK63: what did Dana do/say this time?

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#9 GoofyGoon69
November 17 2013, 09:04AM
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Hopefully they can have a winning streak here. The next 2 games are beatable but I have said that 90% of the time,can someone tell me why Klefbom was called up and didn't even play at least 1 game?

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#10 THRNHJE
November 17 2013, 09:06AM
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@GoofyGoon69

They have done this 3 or 4 times this season, Davidsen and a couple of others, bring them up, dont play them, send them down. Makes zero sense to me too.

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#11 nathan pahtaykan
November 17 2013, 09:14AM
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15w40 wrote:

They say never to critique a win - they won, good for them, they should be happy.

Let's be honest, that win would only happen against calgary or a team like them.

Hopefully it kick starts something but 20 minutes of OK hockey and 40 minutes of watching your goalie try and preserve a chance of coming back is not a recipe for success.

Given that 2 of the 3 goals would be considered fluke or bad.

Still a fan, just not going to resume the koolaid consumption quite yet.

All I can say is your boy smid top gritty d man that everyone cried over was nk match for talent

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#12 J.P Michaels
November 17 2013, 09:23AM
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what they've done last night in the 3rd period, they got to do this over 60 min's. This time, playing good for only 20 min's worked, but they don't play the Flames every other day.

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#13 camdog
November 17 2013, 09:30AM
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Have the boys played a solid 60 minute game all season? I don't think they have...

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#14 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 09:30AM
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The gadzic fight - while entertaining was of nil value to the game. The oil sucked for another period and a half after it.

The Ference "fight" was execrable. Stempniak hit him clean and was injured hitting the boards. He clearly didn't want to fight yet Ference took advantage. He should be fined or suspended. And this fight also happened thirty minutes before the oil rallied.

And the rally was just as much a credit to the flames running out of gas and lack of scoring talent - how many missed opps did they have?!

The slump has been broken and there is a faint flicker of optimism. They play a very weak Columbus next who have lost 3 in a row. A win moves the optimism level higher. A loss puts them back in the well of despair again.

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#15 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
November 17 2013, 09:30AM
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Most Oilers are a bunch of sissies. The Ference incident was the highlight of the season for me.

He got caught reaching for the puck and got absolutely leveled! I loved that he got pissed! He MADE Stepniak fight him and knocked some chiclets loose. You better believe bloody Stepniak will think twice next time he's on the ice with Ference.

I'm so tired of being frustrated watching these guys get run and doing absolutely nothing about it. Hemsky is probably the worst for it. Eberle too.

Get offended! Take it personally! Those guys don't respect you for a second! Two minute minors for what Ference did should be encouraged on this team.

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#16 Greenlingj
November 17 2013, 09:41AM
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Highlight of the night...

Ference busting up Stepniak's face. Not a big fan of fighting but not a fan of people backing down on a game.

I wonder how many of the kids watched that and went "WE CAN DO THAT?"

Show more emotion Oilers... its amazing what passion can do for you.

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#17 Greg
November 17 2013, 09:41AM
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a win, wow.....

im soooo excited.....

lol i can't quite exactly put into words how i fee about this, so ill just use a quote form one of my favourite movies.

"lets not start sucking each others d*icks just yet". - The Wolf

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#18 Batfink
November 17 2013, 09:48AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Most Oilers are a bunch of sissies. The Ference incident was the highlight of the season for me.

He got caught reaching for the puck and got absolutely leveled! I loved that he got pissed! He MADE Stepniak fight him and knocked some chiclets loose. You better believe bloody Stepniak will think twice next time he's on the ice with Ference.

I'm so tired of being frustrated watching these guys get run and doing absolutely nothing about it. Hemsky is probably the worst for it. Eberle too.

Get offended! Take it personally! Those guys don't respect you for a second! Two minute minors for what Ference did should be encouraged on this team.

Motion carried! That's what endears players like Perron to the fans. To a lesser extent Yak as well. Amazing what lapses of play will be forgiven if they just show some try. That's all we ask. Get angry, get involved, use that adrenaline! There are very few athletes in any sport that can be a cold clinical machine, and they are usually once in a generation talents. The rest of us mere mortals need a little something extra....

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#19 Rick
November 17 2013, 09:51AM
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It takes time to put all these new pieces together ,New GM, new coach nine new players ,new system. Lets face it the old system and player make up was going nowhere. I think we are seeing them come together as a team and as they do and although the playoffs are gone a much more enjoyable year as a fan is before us.

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#20 Batfink
November 17 2013, 09:57AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The gadzic fight - while entertaining was of nil value to the game. The oil sucked for another period and a half after it.

The Ference "fight" was execrable. Stempniak hit him clean and was injured hitting the boards. He clearly didn't want to fight yet Ference took advantage. He should be fined or suspended. And this fight also happened thirty minutes before the oil rallied.

And the rally was just as much a credit to the flames running out of gas and lack of scoring talent - how many missed opps did they have?!

The slump has been broken and there is a faint flicker of optimism. They play a very weak Columbus next who have lost 3 in a row. A win moves the optimism level higher. A loss puts them back in the well of despair again.

Talk the team down as much as you want. You are just highlighting what some of us have been saying for a while: There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Should we have won the game? Yes, because Calgary took their eye off the prize, and at this level, even against a bottom team, that will kill you. I lay dollars to cents that's what Hartley told his boys after the game. SJ could afford to take their foot of the gas, but SJ Calgary aint, thank Jeebus.

Even against the stats, we deserved that win, because Flames displayed a typical Oiler trait and didn't see her out. Just be happy it's not another Sunday where you wake up angry/confused at what the eff happened last night.

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#21 Fresh Mess
November 17 2013, 10:00AM
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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.

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#22 Hockey Problems
November 17 2013, 10:05AM
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@Serious Gord

Somebody needs a hug, or... A poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

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#23 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 10:09AM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

Somebody needs a hug, or... A poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

A lot of oilers fanbots need a dose of reality today...

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#24 Batfink
November 17 2013, 10:11AM
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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.

LOL, like Emery was suspended? I'll be sure to forward your concern to Mr. Shananananahanhan. You have obviously never played sport of any kind, just admired from afar. How do you know Stempniak's mouth wasn't writing cheques his a55 couldn't cover? The hit was clean but an excuse for retribution. You don't always get to see the real reasons, the chirping, the little slashes, butt ends, little dirty plays that fly under the radar. That was probably why you never saw anybody come to Stempniak's aid. There are very few players in the NHL who take malicious delight in just punching someone for no apparent reason.

Jeez, the outrage bus has been started, is filling up and being revved to the max this morning.

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#25 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 10:14AM
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Batfink wrote:

LOL, like Emery was suspended? I'll be sure to forward your concern to Mr. Shananananahanhan. You have obviously never played sport of any kind, just admired from afar. How do you know Stempniak's mouth wasn't writing cheques his a55 couldn't cover? The hit was clean but an excuse for retribution. You don't always get to see the real reasons, the chirping, the little slashes, butt ends, little dirty plays that fly under the radar. That was probably why you never saw anybody come to Stempniak's aid. There are very few players in the NHL who take malicious delight in just punching someone for no apparent reason.

Jeez, the outrage bus has been started, is filling up and being revved to the max this morning.

Had the flames scored to make it 3-0 instead of the oil scoring to make it a one goal game I suspect that there would have been retribution meted out on Ference or some other oiler.

Since that didn't happen it will wait for the next game.

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#26 hockeycrazed
November 17 2013, 10:15AM
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It wasn't pretty, but a much needed victory, nonetheless! Congrats is in order. Back to business, I do not know if Keith plays a role in keeping his son Will in the lineup instead of Arcobello, but clearly Will pale in comparison with Arcobello's compassions and skill! put the best team on ice, please!!!! Lucky it was the Flames they were playing last night, they would not have come back if it were a better team! Not after 40 minutes of lacklustre hockey they won't!

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#27 The Swarm
November 17 2013, 10:18AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The gadzic fight - while entertaining was of nil value to the game. The oil sucked for another period and a half after it.

The Ference "fight" was execrable. Stempniak hit him clean and was injured hitting the boards. He clearly didn't want to fight yet Ference took advantage. He should be fined or suspended. And this fight also happened thirty minutes before the oil rallied.

And the rally was just as much a credit to the flames running out of gas and lack of scoring talent - how many missed opps did they have?!

The slump has been broken and there is a faint flicker of optimism. They play a very weak Columbus next who have lost 3 in a row. A win moves the optimism level higher. A loss puts them back in the well of despair again.

Huh? The fights were near the end of the first period, and Oilers came out in the 2nd looking like they gave a crap. The play by play guy said the looked like an entirely different team. What game were you watching?

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#28 nehdhead
November 17 2013, 10:20AM
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GoofyGoon69 wrote:

Hopefully they can have a winning streak here. The next 2 games are beatable but I have said that 90% of the time,can someone tell me why Klefbom was called up and didn't even play at least 1 game?

Klefbom was an emergency recall because there was a chance Ferrence couldn't play, and a roster spot had to be vacated and Arcabello was the only player who didn't have to clear waivers so he was sent down. As soon at it was clear that Ferrence was fine, (and from the licking he laid on Stempniak, he looked just fine indeed) Klefbom went back down and Arcobello came back up.

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#29 Pete
November 17 2013, 10:27AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The gadzic fight - while entertaining was of nil value to the game. The oil sucked for another period and a half after it.

The Ference "fight" was execrable. Stempniak hit him clean and was injured hitting the boards. He clearly didn't want to fight yet Ference took advantage. He should be fined or suspended. And this fight also happened thirty minutes before the oil rallied.

And the rally was just as much a credit to the flames running out of gas and lack of scoring talent - how many missed opps did they have?!

The slump has been broken and there is a faint flicker of optimism. They play a very weak Columbus next who have lost 3 in a row. A win moves the optimism level higher. A loss puts them back in the well of despair again.

I'll take the opinion of a player about what a fight can do to energize a bench, rather than a consistently negative poster who thinks he knows every thing.

Ference should be suspended? Congrats on the dumbest comment of the year. Stempniak wasn't injured hitting the boards, get your eyes checked.

So when Dubnyk makes saves it is because the other team can't score. But when Edmonton can't finish it is the forward's fault or the other goalie is great. Typical speak out of both sides of your mouth comment from you.

You are constantly negative. Do yourself a favour and try to enjoy a game. Feel sorry for people like you.

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#30 Lowe Expectations
November 17 2013, 10:32AM
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When the work effort rises and the legs are moving this team can compete. But when will we see a 60 minute game, not the 20-30 (or even less) we've see all too frequently.

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#31 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 10:35AM
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Pete wrote:

I'll take the opinion of a player about what a fight can do to energize a bench, rather than a consistently negative poster who thinks he knows every thing.

Ference should be suspended? Congrats on the dumbest comment of the year. Stempniak wasn't injured hitting the boards, get your eyes checked.

So when Dubnyk makes saves it is because the other team can't score. But when Edmonton can't finish it is the forward's fault or the other goalie is great. Typical speak out of both sides of your mouth comment from you.

You are constantly negative. Do yourself a favour and try to enjoy a game. Feel sorry for people like you.

So who was the player who said it rallied the team?

Stempniak looked shaken up after hitting the boards - i saw it and the CBC commentators both in cgy and in toronto noted it.

Never said anything about dubnyk. But he did say after the game he got a lot of posts...

I intend to hold the oil to a high standard. You should do the same.

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#32 HugThePost
November 17 2013, 10:46AM
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sure, what Ferrence did to Stepniak might not have been 100% alright, but we at one point had a captain here who also did pretty dirty things to lay claim to his area on the ice (#11) and he is a deity in these parts for all parts of his game.

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#33 lucky
November 17 2013, 10:51AM
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@Serious Gord

You read the article? Maybe read who wrote it.

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#34 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 10:51AM
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HugThePost wrote:

sure, what Ferrence did to Stepniak might not have been 100% alright, but we at one point had a captain here who also did pretty dirty things to lay claim to his area on the ice (#11) and he is a deity in these parts for all parts of his game.

Messier was suspended more than ten times - if i recall correctly - during an era that was far more lenient on acts of egregious violence. Under the current eras rules ference should be disciplined. I doubt he is destined for deity status.

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#35 Sean
November 17 2013, 10:52AM
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Oilers were lucky to get out of the first period only down a goal.

Oilers turned it on in the 3rd to win this AHL battle.

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#36 Spydyr
November 17 2013, 10:53AM
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Someone took a run at an Oiler .Then got his teeth knocked out. About effing time. It should happen every time a run is taken at one of the kids. Then it might stop.

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#37 K_Mart
November 17 2013, 10:53AM
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Good third period. That is all. Next.

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#38 Sean
November 17 2013, 10:55AM
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K_Mart wrote:

Good third period. That is all. Next.

Bad goaltending by Calgary in the 3rd don't forget

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#39 Serious Gord
November 17 2013, 10:55AM
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lucky wrote:

You read the article? Maybe read who wrote it.

Odd I didn't see him on the oilers roster...

He's an ex-player.

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#40 Spydyr
November 17 2013, 11:01AM
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Sean wrote:

Bad goaltending by Calgary in the 3rd don't forget

That third period goaltending for Calgary looked very familiar. Like we had seen it somewhere else this year.

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#41 Randy
November 17 2013, 11:01AM
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Oilers play 1 period to beat an AHL team.

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#42 D-Unit
November 17 2013, 11:02AM
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15w40 wrote:

They say never to critique a win - they won, good for them, they should be happy.

Let's be honest, that win would only happen against calgary or a team like them.

Hopefully it kick starts something but 20 minutes of OK hockey and 40 minutes of watching your goalie try and preserve a chance of coming back is not a recipe for success.

Given that 2 of the 3 goals would be considered fluke or bad.

Still a fan, just not going to resume the koolaid consumption quite yet.

The thing of it is, the 2 fluke or bad goals count the same on the scoreboard as the fancy goals. Maybe the "talent" can learn from it. Probably not, but maybe. Plus fluke or bad goals count every time. The make 19 pretty passes and lose the puck before a shot are never goals and never count on the scoreboard.

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#43 BiG eLmO
November 17 2013, 11:09AM
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@Serious Gord

Pessimistic much there, Gordie ?

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#44 Josh
November 17 2013, 11:14AM
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It has been larsen, not ference, whom has been battling injury

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#45 Neal
November 17 2013, 11:20AM
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Good on the Captain. There can be no doubt he energized his team. The underlying problem is still there though. Our team doesn't want to battle, doesn't want to cycle, would rather do "fly-by's" and ends up with mostly ineffective "one and done" rushes.

So is this lack of willingness to engage coachable or not? Can a coach get a guy to put himself in harms way if he's never done it before? Or is it simply DNA that cannot be changed? Important because they lead you to different solutions.

My take - it's both, depending on the individual; and the coach needs to help the GM weed out the ones who just don't have it in them, and prioritize the ones that do - like Arcobello. You can have some super skilled pansies, no problem, but just not more than 3 or 4. There has to be some painful trades coming...

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#46 blue31
November 17 2013, 11:30AM
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Mark me down as not happy with what Ferrence did. I get that the team is frustrated, but knocking out a guys teeth because he made a good, legal check crosses a line. Stepniak did nothing wrong. Did not want to fight.

How many people here defending Ferrence also defended Sean Avery sucker punching Laddy Smid?

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#47 Cynic
November 17 2013, 11:33AM
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Good news, Oiler fan. The NHL has announced a mid-season scheduling change: you're now going to play the Flames 59 more times. With Rita Berra in net.

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#48 Cynic
November 17 2013, 11:37AM
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The Ference assault was in the first period. But somehow it ralled the boys to a 3rd-period comeback? Retarded hockey fans are retarded.

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#49 Mike
November 17 2013, 11:38AM
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@serious goof i mean gord Go comment on the flames site then with ur support for stepniak and while your at it watch the game over and listen to the players and coaches comments after the game. Ference roughed him up but didn't start throwing UNTIL stempniak DROPPED his gloves. I don't know if u know this but when two players have their gloves off that means a fight is about to happen. And the COACH who was on the bench the whole game with the players said both fights brought emotion to the bench so really what are you complaining about?

Avatar
#50 Mike
November 17 2013, 11:44AM
Trash it!
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trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

@serious gord and the flames ran out of gas in the third? Ok buddy so they can't keep up to a team that is in the third period of a back to back game which is also their 3 rd game in 4 days? Ur joking right now

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