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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#301 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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#302 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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#303 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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#304 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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#305 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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#306 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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#307 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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#308 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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#309 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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#310 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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#311 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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#312 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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#313 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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#314 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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#315 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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#316 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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#317 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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#318 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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#319 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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#320 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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#321 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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#322 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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#323 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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#324 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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#325 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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#326 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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#327 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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#328 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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#329 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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#330 YFC Prez
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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@Bryzarro World

Doesn't quite hit like Smac but who does really?! But he can play a little too , I like him also. Face punchers who can skate FTW

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#331 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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#332 Rocket
November 21 2013, 08:05PM
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I'm watching the Florida feed.

The play-by-play man:"Nugent-Hopkins' pass gets picked off by Gilbert."

*Head explodes*

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#333 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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#334 Old School G
November 21 2013, 08:39PM
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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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#335 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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#336 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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#337 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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#338 Alsker
November 21 2013, 09:10PM
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WTF...ok wanye whats the joke?

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#339 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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#340 bassguy
November 21 2013, 10:55PM
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sorry I cant spell correctly!

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#341 Oier Al
November 22 2013, 09:29AM
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Alright that was a good practice, now the real hockey starts... Hawks in town on Monday.

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#342 Hat Pughes
November 22 2013, 09:31AM
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gongshow wrote:

Moustaches for remainder of season? Yes! And then swing a trade to get that Teddy Peckham guy back. Epic 'stache.

Its Teddy Peckman!!! Dont know this Peckham fellow up speak of

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#343 pkam
November 22 2013, 09:33AM
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camdog wrote:

Eakins doesn`t want the 4th line playing more minutes. At the beginning of the season he stated that he expected the skilled forwards to be conditioned to play heavy minutes. These minutes of course are the expense of the 4 th line forwards.

I remember Eakins was asked about the 4th line in one of his post practice interviews.

This is basically what he said. 'I'd like to play them about 10 minutes a game. I don't expect our 4th line to score. So I can't play them when we are down because we need to score.'.

My understanding is Eakins plans to play them about 10 minutes a game if we are leading or the game is tie so the top 9 do not have to play 20 minutes or more a game. But when we are trailing, we can't play them anymore because they take away the minutes, in other words, the opportunity from our top 9, to score and come back.

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#344 loweblows
November 22 2013, 09:35AM
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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.

acton I believe won 1 faceoff and was a complete non-factor-arco has proven to be a better all round player despite his size-so please stop trolling this site mr.keith acton

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#345 camdog
November 22 2013, 09:51AM
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@pkam

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.

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#346 rob
November 22 2013, 10:13AM
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Harlie wrote:

Perron is our modern day Peca. Just need our Pronger and a sweet deadline deal next year and we could roll.

we have him,his name is nurse!!!

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#347 Walter Sobchak
November 22 2013, 11:00AM
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K_Mart wrote:

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.

Agreed on Dubnyk, however, I will say this, when the tougher teams come and it's 1-1 with five left to play and he lets a goal like that in its deflating! It's a team & game killer.

I'm still sceptical the Oilers have really pulled out of this, I'll wait to see them play a tough team up close, then I'll get a better sample of how they have changed and hopefully for the better.

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#348 EHH Team
November 22 2013, 11:22AM
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pkam wrote:

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.

You ignore the impact of penalties: power play and penalty killing units throw curves into your time allocations.

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#349 Quicksilver ballet
November 22 2013, 03:58PM
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EHH Team wrote:

You ignore the impact of penalties: power play and penalty killing units throw curves into your time allocations.

BEAR......dead ahead!

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