GDB 24.0: THREEPEAT

Jason Gregor
November 21 2013 01:06PM

I know that a threepeat is usually associated with winning three consecutive championships, but right now a three-game winning streak for the Oilers is as rare as a threepeat, so you need to start somewhere.

The Oilers dominated the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, and while a 7-0 drubbing is unlikely, if the Oilers play with the same speed, tenacity and determination they should defeat the Florida Panthers. However, as the Vancouver Canucks learned, you can't take anyone lightly, and I'd hope that the 29th place Oilers aren't looking at the 28th place Panthers as an easy opponent.

Tuesday was only one game, but the only way you can start a streak is by winning and tonight the Oilers have to build on that strong performance. They Oilers scored first for the first time in ten games. Their PP continues to produce, and they didn't give up any quality chances.

They aren't going to score seven goals every game, and they aren't going to rack up shutouts weekly, but they can find some ensure they have consistency in their game. It is what they lack the most. If the majority of players can learn to play with consistency, then, and only then, can we start to discuss actual progress.

Everyone from the fans, players, coaches, management and media knows the Oilers don't have the right mix of players to be an elite contender, and Craig MacTavish can't fix that overnight, but the players can learn to play with consistency.

The players have to realize that acquiring a top-pairing D-man or some size in their top-nine won't magically solve their problems. It won't instill uniformity in their game; they need to instill it now so when MacTavish adds pieces to the puzzle this team is ready to legitimately be competitive.

Obviously they want to win, but I don't believe they will start winning regularly until they learn to play with conviction, consistency and determination on a nightly basis.

They did that on Tuesday and now they need to do it tonight against a team they are capable of beating.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Jonesuu-Acton-Gazdic

Belov-J.Schultz
Ference-Petry
N. Schultz-Potter

Dubnyk

After consecutive victories there is no reason to change the lineup. Eakins will stick with five forward on his first PP unit, but suggested that might only last a few more games. There is a risk if they give up an odd man rush, but Eakins said that shouldn't happen, and the upside it immense with the creativity of the five forwards. In their last eight games the Oilers are 9 for 25 on the PP. Whatever combination they've used has worked.

QUICK HITS...

  • Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky are the only players still on the Oilers who played in the Heritage Classic ten years ago. Smyth said the biggest challenge was the temperature change. The benches were extremely warm with the heaters, but then you'd go on the ice and it was -22. He loved the experience and is hopeful the young kids will get to experience an outdoor game.
     
  • I'm hearing the Oilers and the NHL are looking at another outdoor game in Edmonton within the next two or three years.
     
  • Steve Staios tied a career high with three points in the 2003 Heritage Classic. Staios had a goal and two assists and was named 2nd star. He's had five three point games in his career and he had three that season.
     
  • The Oilers placed Steve MacIntyre on waivers today. Not much of a surprise considering he hasn't played one game this season and Luke Gazdic has played well in Macintyre's role. I asked Eakins about Gazdic and why he feels it is necessary to have a tough guy in the lineup.

    "I think it is important right now for our group. I know there is a lot of people out there who think that (fighting) has nothing to do with the game, but they've never stood on the bench and seen how it ignites your bench. I think it is important for all of our players to stand up for each other. It shows you care, especially when you come to one of your guy's defence. I think that goes a long, long way to your group's closeness. The way they will fight for each other, and I don't mean fist fight, I mean they are all pulling on the same rope.

    One of my favourite teams to watch the past few years is the Bruins. You touch one of their guys and five or six guys are waiting for you. That shows a team that is extremely close. There are no scrums where you have two or three guys skating around looking in the stands, everyone is in there supporting each other. You don't have to be big and tough to do that, you just need to stick up each other."
     
  • I then asked Eakins if he thinks his team has enough of a pack mentality, or is he trying to instill that?

    "It is something we are pushing to have happen, but we have gotten way better at since day one. There would be a scrum before and we would have three or four guys sitting back thinking the refs will get in there, but now we are starting to see guys jump in.

    A few games ago against Dallas, their agitator, Roussel, was fooling around with Potter and here comes Taylor Hall and he gives him a swat, chases him away and I was like, 'Yes, I love that from our team.'

    That resonates on the bench. That's why I find it interesting hearing people's views on violence in hockey that say it does nothing to the game, but maybe we should invite them down to the bench and see what it does to the guys who are getting ready to go out on the ice."
     
  • I've been critical of the Oilers overall lack of toughness for years, and not just fighting. I have noticed they are slowly getting better at standing up for one another, and that is a necessary step to showing a willingness to do whatever it takes to win.
     
  • For the past five years, I've participated in the Junior Chamber International of Edmonton Holiday Hamper program. You sign up and they place you with an underprivIleged family. They supply a grocery shopping list and you go buy the food and one small present for each member of the family. You then deliver the hamper to their house.

    It has made Christmas much more enjoyable for me, because it truly is about giving. The JCI is hoping to help 750 families this year and they need about 250 more people to sign up. This is a great bonding experience for your family and a great way to show your children how to help others in need. If you are interested in helping out go to www.holidayhamper.ca and click on hamper. They are hoping to fill the spots by December 1st.
     

THE FUTURE....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: THREEPEAT, THREEPEAT, THREEPEAT... Oiler fans aren't used to witnessing a three-game winning streak, but it will happen tonight. Oilers win 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After a big win the 50/50 will be back above $65,000. Winning makes fans feel better and willing to poney up some more cash in hopes of winning.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Anton Belov, Nick Schultz and Sam Gagner are the only Oilers who have played 10 games and haven't scored. Gagner ends his drought tonight, and Belov shocks all of us as he decides to actually shoot the puck. He fires a career-high four shots on goal and scores his first NHL goal.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#1 Talbot17
November 21 2013, 01:08PM
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FIST THREE GAME WIN STREAK OF THE YEAR, I CAN FEEL IT

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#2 Rocket
November 21 2013, 08:03PM
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@Mike Krushelnyski

Sorry I missed it the first time. Could you repeat that?

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#3 Bucknuck
November 21 2013, 10:11PM
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OK, I am starting to feel hopeful. Nice to see the amount of hitting, and I LOVED what Ference did with Upshall. Best penalty I've seen taken in years.

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#4 Alsker
November 21 2013, 09:07PM
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@Mike Krushelnyski

I for 1 am impressed sir, you finally found a way to keep DSF off the comment section for 4 whole pages..10,000 props to you and a big cheers!!!!!!!

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#5 DSF
November 21 2013, 02:05PM
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Florida has been playing much better under the new coaching staff going 3W-3L since the change.

In that 6 game stretch, they are 2.8 GF/G and 2.5 GA/G.

Tim Thomas has been the difference in several of those games and could do the same tonight.

The Oilers should win a close one but I don't think it's going to be easy.

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#6 YFC Prez
November 21 2013, 10:47PM
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Since arcobello has been out of the lineup what's the oilers record? Exactly. I like the guy too, but lines are clicking now and Eakins actually has them playing something resembling a professional hockey team. The only spot he would go is second C, will he take gags spot ?fat chance of that although I understand the argument for this. Right now Arcobello is depth , and that's a wonderful thing.

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#7 Neal
November 21 2013, 02:28PM
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Ok, I get that you don't want to fool with a winning lineup, but I'm still irked that our best 2nd line C is in the press box...

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#8 YFC Prez
November 21 2013, 09:44PM
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Ferrence has been like a tiny gator the last few games and he was a fine captain. I'm loving it.

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#9 bwar
November 21 2013, 10:07PM
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I blame this win on Bryz.

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#10 Bryzarro World
November 21 2013, 11:51PM
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this background blows

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#11 CellyHard
November 21 2013, 01:53PM
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If the Oilers can go 13-3-3 till the end of December they could possibly salvage this season. Pray to Wanye.

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#12 sizzay
November 21 2013, 02:57PM
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vetinari wrote:

Arco sits again... I hope that they aren't going to do anything crazy and trade him...

As for Dubnyk, he's earned the right to keep starting for the time being. I just wish that he would have started the season this way rather than after all expectations for playoffs are gone.

Wouldn't be a bad idea to sell high on Arcobello. Conacher fetched a good starting goaltender in Bishop. Conacher has 4 points in 22 games this year.

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#13 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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Oh god how did this get here? I am not good with computers

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#14 vetinari
November 21 2013, 08:54PM
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Perron deal is looking like our best off season move from last year so far...

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#15 hoozonphirst
November 22 2013, 01:07AM
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This background is flaky. Get my drift?

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#16 sizzay
November 21 2013, 02:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Florida has been playing much better under the new coaching staff going 3W-3L since the change.

In that 6 game stretch, they are 2.8 GF/G and 2.5 GA/G.

Tim Thomas has been the difference in several of those games and could do the same tonight.

The Oilers should win a close one but I don't think it's going to be easy.

I would agree with this. If the Oilers come out slow and expect to come back, they have another thing coming.

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#17 Johnnydapunk
November 21 2013, 02:01PM
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@Gregor

Belov actually shoots a fair bit, he has the 3rd most shots for a Defencemen for the Oil this year ahead of Ference and Nick Schultz.

I think when he shoots he is less going for a goal and more getting the shot in for a deflection if that makes sense.

It is funny as Belov seems to be Mr Invisible as he is rarely mentioned yet has been one of the best Defencemen for the Oil and one of the most surprising of summer signings.

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#18 oilerjed
November 21 2013, 02:55PM
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CellyHard wrote:

If the Oilers can go 13-3-3 till the end of December they could possibly salvage this season. Pray to Wanye.

Does this require the use of chickens in anyway or is a whole white lamb required? Im not judging, just wondering if I need to stop by the butcher on the way home.

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#19 Stack Pad Save
November 21 2013, 10:15PM
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Winning Streak!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#20 YFC Prez
November 21 2013, 08:41PM
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Perron has been all over the puck so far. Looks like he's having another good game.

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#21 kgo
November 21 2013, 02:38PM
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Arco will be fine, The adversity will make him stronger.

It's funny how in two months people go from calling Mac T an idiot for not sigining an experienced centre...two sh$tting bricks because a rookie is scratched for a few games.

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#22 LoweBlow
November 22 2013, 01:00AM
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They're winning now? I'm not sure I understand this. The Oilers are winning?

Still, I'm a skeptic. What'll happen with more difficult opposition?

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#23 Spydyr
November 21 2013, 01:29PM
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GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers win!!!Three in a row! What else matters?

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#24 sizzay
November 21 2013, 01:58PM
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Gregor,

Maybe you care to comment on this trade idea.

Drew Shore for Marincin.

Shore is a 6'2 Centre that has 40 points in 64 AHL games and 13 NHL points in 41 games. Not bad. Hockey's future's analysis of the guy:

Shore is a two-way forward with above-average hockey sense and burgeoning offensive skills. He is a solid skater with good mobility and a quick change of direction, especially at his size. He is a gritty, competitive player who can be a determined forechecker as well as a tenacious defender and he is solid in the faceoff circle. Although he will not dazzle anyone with an array of exceptional skills, he has a well-rounded game and has shown a deft touch at the front of the net and a good, accurate shot away from it.

I was mad we didn't get Holland from Anaheim. We currently don't have a big 2nd line centre in the making. Drew Shore is expendable with Trochek, Bjugstad, and Barkov above him in the depth chart.

Thoughts? This wouldn't affect the NHL team and we aren't giving up NHL talent for prospects again.

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#25 DSF
November 21 2013, 02:17PM
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sizzay wrote:

Gregor,

Maybe you care to comment on this trade idea.

Drew Shore for Marincin.

Shore is a 6'2 Centre that has 40 points in 64 AHL games and 13 NHL points in 41 games. Not bad. Hockey's future's analysis of the guy:

Shore is a two-way forward with above-average hockey sense and burgeoning offensive skills. He is a solid skater with good mobility and a quick change of direction, especially at his size. He is a gritty, competitive player who can be a determined forechecker as well as a tenacious defender and he is solid in the faceoff circle. Although he will not dazzle anyone with an array of exceptional skills, he has a well-rounded game and has shown a deft touch at the front of the net and a good, accurate shot away from it.

I was mad we didn't get Holland from Anaheim. We currently don't have a big 2nd line centre in the making. Drew Shore is expendable with Trochek, Bjugstad, and Barkov above him in the depth chart.

Thoughts? This wouldn't affect the NHL team and we aren't giving up NHL talent for prospects again.

Don't forget the Panthers also have Shawn Matthias, Marcel Goc, Jesse Winchester and Scott Gomez (injured) at C.

Drew Shore would be a great pick up for the Oilers and, as you say, the price might be reasonable.

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#26 bulldog12
November 21 2013, 10:02PM
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Hauk15 wrote:

Arcobello has zero size, the forth line needs grit and a bit of nasty. not 5'6" 168 lbs skill.

Why does the 4th line need all size and grit. All they do is hit the other teams 4th line and 3rd pairing dmen. How does that wear down anyone that has any affect on the game. Arco hits as much as anyone,is good defensively and the 4th line might actually create some scoring chances. You could play them more than 5 to 7 minutes a night. Gotta think outside the box.

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#27 pkam
November 21 2013, 01:13PM
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If 28th place Panthers are not an easy opponent, then who are? The problem here, is we are also an easy opponent at 29th place. The question is who is easier.

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#28 BIGDAWG
November 21 2013, 02:24PM
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OILERS WIN 3 IN A ROW!!!!

GO DUBY!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks Nation!!! got my sticker and my truck has never looked better!!!

OILERS

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#30 bassguy
November 21 2013, 10:52PM
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Hi Gregor!..I just wanted to chime in with a story of the heritage classic game...I played bass(duh..bassguy)on the musical end of that game(s)..we played with tom Cochran and I think it was Paulina Gretsky??..believe it was..anyhoo, we pre recorded all the tracks except Paulina might have sung live, I cant remember, but we were doing the fake playing(thank god as it was so cold everytime I touched my strings they were frozen!)but my friend Vince who was the drummer(he has been the drummer with Spirit of the West forever)we had decided that he would visit my humble studio on the Monday...I didn't hear back from him and was wondering what happened when I heard he was in the hospital!..He has an issue with asthma and his core body temp had dropped so low(we had to stand out there for quite a long time)that he basically shut down and was diagnosed with pnemommia,,I brought him some magazines and treats etc...but what a trip, mike

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#31 VK63
November 21 2013, 01:21PM
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Ive been fortunate enough to have attended a few of the outdoor games.

Sadly... and this actually pains me to admit... commonwealth and that track around it remove any semblance of intimacy with the game.

It was an awesome experience in spite of that observation however. As i recall the next day... hung over though I was.. it was about 20 degrees warmer and would have been nearly perfect for the event.

Typical.

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#32 John Kirsch
November 21 2013, 03:52PM
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Oilers rock them tonight 36-0. Which by the way is the temperature difference between Miami and Edmonton at the moment...

Edmontonian sipping cocktails on the beach in Key West!

Woot

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#33 YFC Prez
November 21 2013, 09:10PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

Welcome back Dubnyk...

Almost 2 full games without giving up a goal. Cut him some slack on that one. A little lucky shot by upshall.

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#34 ubermiguel
November 21 2013, 10:43PM
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It's the mustaches. The Oilers must keep them after November.

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#35 Alsker
November 21 2013, 10:54PM
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So who schedules us nearly nightly when we suck the big one and now that we're almost respectable we play every 4 days? AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaarghhhhhh!!!!I'm going to go thru withdrawl. Wait is the Oiler fan in me craving or my liver?

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#36 Pouzar99
November 21 2013, 03:35PM
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I might add that the Panthers can read and watch TV, so they will know the Oilers have run off two wins and have outscored their opponents 11-0 over the last 4 periods. They will be ready.

None of which is an excuse for losing tonight. The Oilers should beat Florida, but should not expect it to be easy. Having Tim Thomas in goal is the wild card here, but the Oilers have miles more talent at forward and that, and some new found confidence, should make the difference. Whether it will or not remains to be seen. Pouzar and son Sam will be there and so should Doug the Slug and son, Johnny, sitting beside us.

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#37 Harlie
November 21 2013, 03:37PM
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Call me crazy, but I just turned down tickets for tonights game so I could work on the 60' x 25' rink I'm putting in the yard for the kids. Seems a bit more important and worthwhile of my time than going to the game.

Now watch Yak or someone get 9 points tonight.

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#38 YFC Prez
November 21 2013, 09:43PM
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Nations acting weird tonight

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#39 The Beaker
November 22 2013, 06:47AM
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morgie wrote:

don't mess with a winning line up, period

thats a bunch of bs. if you can insert players that will help improve a lineup thats doing ok you do it. just like you dont just change the entire lineup after 1 loss.

Oh yeah...Pittsburg called, they want to trade us Malkin for Acton and Omark better hang up quick, dont want to be tempted to change a winning lineup.

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#40 Loweblows
November 22 2013, 07:21AM
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I see the 4th line was a non factor again- time for Arco yet mr.nepotism?

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#41 vetinari
November 22 2013, 09:06AM
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Sidney Frosby wrote:

Look at this idiot.... He thinks people are doing this purposely

@ Sid - you apparently miss the concept of teasing but it's okay, not everyone has a sense of humor or common sense

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#42 vetinari
November 21 2013, 02:54PM
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Arco sits again... I hope that they aren't going to do anything crazy and trade him...

As for Dubnyk, he's earned the right to keep starting for the time being. I just wish that he would have started the season this way rather than after all expectations for playoffs are gone.

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#43 FlamesRule
November 21 2013, 03:51PM
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"I'm hearing the Oilers and the NHL are looking at another outdoor game in Edmonton within the next two or three years."

Battle of Alberta outdoor game; REBUILD STYLE

:)

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#44 WONGER
November 21 2013, 03:59PM
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Why didn't MacIntyre even get one game? C'mon MacT have a heart. He is one of the best, most genuine people you could ever meet and can knock people out with either hand! Recall him if it's not too late! Florida, Pittsburgh, Calgary or Toronto, I'm betting on Pittsburgh or Toronto, will claim him for sure! ARGH!!!! HELP GREGOR!!!! Can you start a SAVE THE BIG MAC CAMPAIGN???? Do a favour for your Good Buddy (great chinese food restaurant name)the one and only WONGER - often immitated but never duplicated)! HELP GREGOR!!!!

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#45 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:01PM
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99 reserved for Gretzky

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#46 Old School G
November 21 2013, 08:38PM
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And once more:

Though you'd think when he's got the other guy's stick stuck in his visor for 30 seconds, the high sticking penalty is kind of implied.

Thank You Mike

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#47 Walter Sobchak
November 22 2013, 12:17AM
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Not a bad game, good PK & the PP is red hot.

I was at the game tonight and what I watched was two very bad teams 5x5.

The defensive mistakes by the Oilers were ghastly!

By my eye I counted about 4 or 5 alarming turnovers, not a huge deal against the Panthers but the Oilers need to tighten that up before going into Dec & Jan.

Also good to see Dubnyk regain a little confidence but that letting in one awful goal a game is still there.

Glad to see Gagner get that goal, seems him and Yakupov got good chem going.

I'm still pretty pissed about the team & the first two months......

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#48 camdog
November 21 2013, 01:42PM
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I then asked Eakins if he thinks his team has enough of a pack mentality, or is he trying to instill that?

"It is something we are pushing to have happen, but we have gotten way better at since day one. There would be a scrum before and we would have three or four guys sitting back thinking the refs will get in there, but now we are starting to see guys jump in.

X2 I don`t go to many games, but I went to the Wings game and that game infuriated me, because they didn`t have that pack mentality. Smith was picking on Yakopov near the end of the game and the other 4 Oilers did their best to try and avoid getting in there. That is the reason I turned on Krueger as a coach, because at times it looked like this was what he was teaching them.

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#49 james_dean
November 21 2013, 05:20PM
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I was at heritige classic with my 3 older brothers.

when they said it was too cold and left I stayed by myself and started drinking beer without a glove.

Needless to say I was in high school and a group of kids that I had a problem with jumped me ( I started it) and I was in the fetal position getting worked.

2 cops pulled them off and kicked them out.

I stayed with the blood and bruises

Heritige classic memories

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#50 Johnnydapunk
November 21 2013, 09:03PM
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Welcome back Dubnyk...

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