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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#151 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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#152 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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#153 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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#154 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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#155 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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#156 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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#157 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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#158 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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#159 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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#160 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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#161 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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#162 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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#163 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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#164 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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#165 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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#166 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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#167 Hauk15
November 21 2013, 08:31PM
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Hey mike how'd you manage to comment the same thing over a hundred times?

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#168 Alsker
November 21 2013, 09:08PM
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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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#169 Alsker
November 21 2013, 09:08PM
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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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#170 Johnnydapunk
November 21 2013, 09:22PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

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

I accept that it was a bit of a harsh, borderline prickish in the heat of the moment comment, it's not that he let in a goal, that never gets to me too much, but he just lets in these weird goals that are a mystery how they go in, those goals make me crazy. I still don't know how that went in...

But yeah, I shouldn't be adding to the negativity pile too much as there is already an insane amount here and it doesn't help adding to it.

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

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#172 Harlie
November 21 2013, 10:03PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Nations acting weird tonight

It's cuz of the snowjob background

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nqX2LkpaJI

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#173 Johnnydapunk
November 21 2013, 10:07PM
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Well that was rather enjoyable.

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#174 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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#175 jbogus
November 21 2013, 11:10PM
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Holy cow just got home and saw the oil and will ref this in a moment but watching the last min of the lak v no game and do they ever put in - pls watch how aggressive still goes in with only a few secs to go I the game .

Anywho, awesome for the oil I feel actually better going to work with their success and happy - wtf I said happy wow.

Good for us and good for them.

Edit: drunk and meant to be la v nj and watch stoll not still....darn ipad

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

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#177 Ari Gold
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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#178 hoozonphirst
November 22 2013, 01:07AM
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This background is flaky. Get my drift?

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#179 VK63
November 22 2013, 07:17AM
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@bassguy

Paulina lip synched as well. (insert current paulina reference here)

I remember cochran waiting for the intro buildup before he hit this big assed power chord on his acoustic... he totally missed the cue.. but it sounded awesome! That thing would have been so far out of tune it would have sounded like a cross between a belch and someone strangling a cat.

I remember one of my Oilpatch cohorts who was so drilled, after the legends game he went up for another bump, as soon as he got to the concourse, whack... he passes out.. I can still hear the sound of his melon hitting the concrete.

Former golden bear captain Russ Hewson was a cop at the time and got him up and into a cab. I still bug the old pail head every time I see him.

One of our group borrowed a neck tray from a beer salesmen as it was pointless to wander around with beer popsicles for sale, filled the tray with triples and a splash of coke... still froze....

The place emptied out by about 70% when the 50/50 was drawn. We hung in there till the bitter end... geared up in sasky ice fishing attire, fully loaded with diesel and totally immersed in the experience.

Ill do it again!! Ha!

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#180 camdog
November 22 2013, 08:52AM
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Quintana wrote:

Arcobello doesn't fit in this team. He is 5.6 ft, and by now he's trade bait.

On "this" team with these forward Arco is the perfect replacement player for when one of the skilled guys gets hurt. When this team is healthy he's a bench player.

He's worked hard enough to stick with the team, other forwards know they can be replaced. He well get additional games when the time is right. I am sure that the kid is loving the NHL life right now, and good for him.

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#181 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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#182 TheFightingChowChows
November 22 2013, 09:16AM
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As rusty the Billy goat said.....

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#183 Rama Lama
November 22 2013, 10:36AM
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Quintana wrote:

Arcobello doesn't fit in this team. He is 5.6 ft, and by now he's trade bait.

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?

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#184 TigerUnderGlass
November 21 2013, 01:22PM
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My favorite fact about the phrase "Three-peat" is that it has been trademarked by Pat Riley (Riles & Co.)

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#185 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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#186 Will
November 21 2013, 01:38PM
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The only thing you can count on with the Oilers is their unpredictability. The Oilers should take their 7 - 0 win and play a similar engaged and up tempo game. The Oilers should be able to beat this team as they've demonstrated to do so recently. The Oilers should come away with a win tonight. But what the Oilers should be able to do and what they actually do are hardly ever the same. What really stuck out at the game on Tuesday was the team's ability to draw penalties against another team that was not engaged, and the team's ability to get back and break up offence with some smart defensive plays.

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#187 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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#188 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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#189 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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#190 Old School G
November 21 2013, 02:12PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

My favorite fact about the phrase "Three-peat" is that it has been trademarked by Pat Riley (Riles & Co.)

I'm not sure I understand

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#191 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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#192 **
November 21 2013, 02:27PM
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Obvious prediction: Dubnyk plays solid again.

Wild prediction:

Oil take this one 9-0. Belov scores, somehow Gagner will be held off the net but chips in on a couple of assists.

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#193 sizzay
November 21 2013, 02:34PM
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DSF wrote:

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.

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.

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#194 Danger Pay
November 21 2013, 02:50PM
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This is the week of Oilers Dominance that one hater keeps posting about!

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#195 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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#196 Rambelaya
November 21 2013, 03:00PM
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Hey Gregor, do you know if JCI does the hamper thing in Calgary? I checked their Calgary site and didn't see anything, so maybe it's just an Edmonton thing?

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#197 pkam
November 21 2013, 03:31PM
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3rd of a 5 peat or 10 peat

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#198 Dog Train
November 21 2013, 03:32PM
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When you're in 29th place, you can't look at anybody as an easy opponent. I really hope that we build off of Tuesday's big game and play a really energetic game tonight.

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#199 Bucknuck
November 21 2013, 03:34PM
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The last few years, after the Oil have a big dominating win, they come out flat the next game. So I am nervous. I hope they get the threepeat and break the trend.

We'll See. I believe they will win, and Yak will get a pair.4-2 sounds right.

Go Oilers.

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#200 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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