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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#51 vetinari
November 21 2013, 09:33PM
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Alright you post-happy Luddites, quit with the triple-quadruple posts... you look like you have OCD...

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#52 vetinari
November 21 2013, 09:36PM
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Alright you post-happy Luddites, quit with the triple-quadruple posts... you look like you have OCD...

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#53 Rip van Winkle
November 21 2013, 10:36PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxopViU98Xo&noredirect=1 that is all

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#54 K_Mart
November 22 2013, 12:57AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

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......

Agree with everything except for the Dubnyk comment. It was from a bad angle, but those go in sometimes. He stopped something like 23/24. Better than good, that is great. Besides, the shot was placed perfectly and there was JUST enough room for it to go in. Not really that bad of positioning on DD part. If he keeps this up, which he won't, we would win 3/4 games. A .95 sv% just doesn't last. An avg of .920 is where we need him, and that's where I expect him to play.

3 in a row is nice. I'll enjoy it. I hope this team can knock off 30 more wins this year. That would be HUGE. Not enough for the playoffs, but still respectable.

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#55 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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#56 JJ
November 22 2013, 08:22AM
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Alsker wrote:

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!!!!!!!

Well, DSF instantly made up for that by posting 20 times in a row. It's almost like he was taunting everyone...

"Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha."

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#57 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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#58 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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#59 DSF
November 21 2013, 02:39PM
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sizzay wrote:

Another option is Mark McNeill, Chicago prospect, 2011 1st rounder. He is the guy I was hoping the Oilers took at 19, but was snagged. Chicago has lots of Centre prospect depth with upside.

I think he would be a heftier price in comparison to Shore. With him though, he could be a good 3C option for them, so they may not see a need to move him.

Chicago is still looking for a #2C so I doubt they would move McNeill if they think he has that potential.

The thing with Florida is they are just loaded with young C's (remember Huberdeau was also a C in junior) so, for the right deal, I think they might move one.

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#60 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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#61 TigerUnderGlass
November 21 2013, 03:14PM
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Old School G wrote:

I'm not sure I understand

Which part, "Trademark" or "Three-peat"?

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#62 Old School G
November 21 2013, 05:36PM
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DSF wrote:

It's what a good GM would do.

We'll see.

I have not the slightest clue what kind of game Matthias plays, who are some comparables?

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#63 Bryzarro World
November 21 2013, 07:50PM
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I like this Gasdick guy...

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#64 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:01PM
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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.

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#65 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:01PM
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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.

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#66 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:01PM
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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.

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#67 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#68 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#69 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#70 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#71 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#72 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#73 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#74 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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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.

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#75 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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#76 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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#77 kgo
November 21 2013, 09:56PM
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I think the cameraman is drunk!

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

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#79 Andrew
November 22 2013, 12:31AM
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Now the Oil are off until Monday I wonder if any of the rumoured trades for a "D" man might happen during this fairly long break between games? Just wondering.

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#80 pkam
November 22 2013, 10:23AM
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camdog wrote:

Against Columbus they got their 10 minutes.

I just don't understand based on the last 3 games, which forwards on the top 3 lines need to be sat, so the 4th liners can get more minutes?

When things begin to slide, Arcobello well get his games and he will get his minutes.

You want to roll 4 lines when possible. Usually the 2 top lines get about 18 minutes, the 3rd line get about 14 minutes and the 4th line get 10 minutes.

In other words, you don't sit the top 9 to give the 4th line the 10 minutes. It is when things do not work out that you sit the 4th line to give the extra minutes to the top 9, and more likely the top 6 who are more likely to create more scoring chances.

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#81 Walter Sobchak
November 22 2013, 11:03AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Arco's stats are wrong........he is more like 5'10" and 190! In any regard he plays like he is 6'2" and 220lbs.

He is a faster more aggressive version of Sam........the guy has vision and heart, what is not to like?

I for the life of me can't understand why Arcobelo is not playing and Acton is?

Better offence - better face off %. - better speed - better vision - better hitter

It doesn't make sense.

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#82 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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#83 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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#84 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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#85 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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#86 Walter Sobchak
November 21 2013, 02:59PM
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DSF wrote:

Chicago is still looking for a #2C so I doubt they would move McNeill if they think he has that potential.

The thing with Florida is they are just loaded with young C's (remember Huberdeau was also a C in junior) so, for the right deal, I think they might move one.

I've always liked Shore, but I'm willing to bet that FLA would give up Matthias before Shore, ether way I think both players would be great addition for the Oilers.....just a hunch.

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#87 sizzay
November 21 2013, 03:03PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I've always liked Shore, but I'm willing to bet that FLA would give up Matthias before Shore, ether way I think both players would be great addition for the Oilers.....just a hunch.

Agreed. I think Shore is a good long term choice to replace Gagner and Matthias could be a good addition to centre or wing as he plays both.

Last year Matthias scored 14 in a shortened season so it may be worth trying him in the top 6 at C and if it doesn't work you have a responsible C in the bottom six. He's an upgrade on Acton

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#88 Mikey
November 21 2013, 03:36PM
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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.'

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#89 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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#90 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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#91 S cottV
November 21 2013, 03:57PM
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DSF wrote:

Chicago is still looking for a #2C so I doubt they would move McNeill if they think he has that potential.

The thing with Florida is they are just loaded with young C's (remember Huberdeau was also a C in junior) so, for the right deal, I think they might move one.

Really like the Mark McNeil idea, if a way to make it work with Chicago. Has nice much needed size for the middle and a local kid who would probably love to play here. Also has considerable skill and potential to perhaps be a future 2nd line centreman with continued development.

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#92 **
November 21 2013, 04:30PM
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kgo wrote:

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.

I still think Mac Tavish needs to get a better, bigger 2C and a better 4C, and it rattles my mind that one of the best players on the team is sitting on the bench (rookie or not, what should matter is how you play and Arco has been one of the best and more consistent if not the best).

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#93 westcoastoil
November 21 2013, 05:12PM
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DSF wrote:

If I were Tallon, I'd run Barkov #1, Bjugstad #2. Matthias #3 and Goc #4 down the middle and, when Trocheck (over a PPG in the AHL) is ready, deal Matthias.

You have to remember the Panthers also have Quinton Howden in the AHL although he's not lighting it up.

Nice problem to have.

packaging some D - Marincin or Fedun if that's who they want - and getting back some C depth would be a good move for both clubs. The added bonus for Edm. may also be that clearing out some of the D logjam may help in signing Simpson, although he could still bolt if he wanted to.

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#94 DSF
November 21 2013, 05:21PM
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westcoastoil wrote:

packaging some D - Marincin or Fedun if that's who they want - and getting back some C depth would be a good move for both clubs. The added bonus for Edm. may also be that clearing out some of the D logjam may help in signing Simpson, although he could still bolt if he wanted to.

It's what a good GM would do.

We'll see.

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#95 DSF
November 21 2013, 05:49PM
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Old School G wrote:

I have not the slightest clue what kind of game Matthias plays, who are some comparables?

6"4" 220 Canadian kid...25 years old and has 275 NHL games to his credit. Drafted by Detroit in the second round in 2006.

A scouting report:

Assets: Owns good size, two-way acumen, leadership qualities and face-off skills. Isn't a speedster but he does skate well. Versatile, he can play center or wing. Lanky, he has a great reach and is the type of player coaches lean heavily on late in games.

Flaws: Needs to keep working on his passing skills and overall physical strength in order to maximize his potential as a scorer and big pivot at the NHL level. Must also work on his intensity and game-to-game consistency, which may come with time.

Career Potential: Two-way forward with upside.

It appears the Canucks are interested in Matthias as well:

"Elliotte Friedman: If the Oilers were to trade their 2014 1st round pick, they’d want a big center or a game-changing defenseman. It’s thought that the Oilers had interest in Nikita Nikitin. Blue Jackets looking for speed, but it doesn’t look like talks went very far.

Talk is that the Panthers are not interested in trading defenseman Brian Campbell.

Contract extension talks between the Panthers and Marcel Goc will start soon.

The Canucks may have interest in Panthers Shawn Matthias. Friedman thought the Flyers might, but was told that was “bad info.”

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#96 Old School G
November 21 2013, 06:44PM
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DSF wrote:

6"4" 220 Canadian kid...25 years old and has 275 NHL games to his credit. Drafted by Detroit in the second round in 2006.

A scouting report:

Assets: Owns good size, two-way acumen, leadership qualities and face-off skills. Isn't a speedster but he does skate well. Versatile, he can play center or wing. Lanky, he has a great reach and is the type of player coaches lean heavily on late in games.

Flaws: Needs to keep working on his passing skills and overall physical strength in order to maximize his potential as a scorer and big pivot at the NHL level. Must also work on his intensity and game-to-game consistency, which may come with time.

Career Potential: Two-way forward with upside.

It appears the Canucks are interested in Matthias as well:

"Elliotte Friedman: If the Oilers were to trade their 2014 1st round pick, they’d want a big center or a game-changing defenseman. It’s thought that the Oilers had interest in Nikita Nikitin. Blue Jackets looking for speed, but it doesn’t look like talks went very far.

Talk is that the Panthers are not interested in trading defenseman Brian Campbell.

Contract extension talks between the Panthers and Marcel Goc will start soon.

The Canucks may have interest in Panthers Shawn Matthias. Friedman thought the Flyers might, but was told that was “bad info.”

Thanks very much DSF. I think that if Detroit thought enough of him to draft him in the second round then that may be reason enough to pursue him. He definitely has great size though it doesn't look like he wracks up that many penalty minutes, if he competes hard then he's kind of in the make of Boyd Gordon which would be excellent. I'm adding Matthias to the bigger forward wish list.

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#97 Quintana
November 21 2013, 07:05PM
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Watching the super series russians and OHL prospects game. Man... Nurse is looking like the real deal.I'm hoping Top 2 D potential.Also I thought I saw Mac-T among the public. Go Oil.

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#98 Hauk15
November 21 2013, 07:55PM
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I've always enjoyed the crisp breeze of the Rexall Place announcer's voice after an Oiler goal. He has a stunning, Morgan Freeman like voice.

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#99 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:01PM
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cheers

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.

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#100 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:01PM
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Cheers
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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.

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