The Way I See It

Robin Brownlee
November 22 2013 09:59PM

Winning, the saying goes, solves everything. While that's not true, at least as it pertains to a flawed team like the Edmonton Oilers, three straight victories has, at the very least, taken some of the edge off a decidedly and rightfully unhappy fan base.

After being booed off the ice by fans at Rexall Place just a week or so ago, the Oilers filed into their dressing room after a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers Thursday and a 7-0 whitewash of the Columbus Blue Jackets to ovations from a capacity crowd. The Oilers started this much-needed three-game respite from futility with a win down the highway in Calgary.

In the big picture that is an 82-game NHL season, 7-15-2 isn't a whole lot better than the 4-15-2 record the Oilers took into this little roll, but it sure feels like it. It most certainly changes, however temporarily, the way fans feel about themselves and their hockey team today.

It might even have you feeling better about goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who has been a lightning rod for criticism after a decidedly horrendous start to the season. Fans have to be pretty happy with Dubnyk's performance during this three game stretch – the same people who were losing their minds after his first three games of the season.

Statistically speaking, Dubnyk is neither as inept as he appeared in those first three games (and several more along the way) nor the Vezina Trophy candidate he's looked like in the last three. When the dust settles after 82 games, I suspect Dubnyk will end up somewhere in the middle.

One extreme to the Other

Anybody who is saying, "Thanks for that insight, Captain Obvious," might want to take a look at some of the comments sections here from early in the season, be it Dubnyk's first three outings, or even the first month, for that matter. He was a bum. A joke. A brutal embarrassment. On and on.

While fans and media types are prone to qualifying their observations with "small sample size" these days, that pretty much went out the window as the venom was spewed here and on radio call-in shows when Dubnyk led the collective early season face plant. I don't mind the passion, by any means, but it's funny how a start abysmal beyond words plays hell with a reasoned approach when it comes to fandom.

Dubnyk allowed 13 goals on 85 shots in the first three games he played, recording Andre Racicot-like save percentages of .821, .839 and .885 in those games. In his last three games, Dubnyk has stopped 71 of 74 shots, going .943, 1.000 and, against the Panthers, .960.

With 157 games in the books (all on a bad team), I think it's safe to say we know what Dubnyk is – even if many forgot it for the first 18 games or so. In 2010-11, Dubnyk's save percentage was .916. In 2011-12 it was .914, followed by .920 last season. The numbers, again on miserable teams, show him to be a good, not great, NHL starter.

A good team, which the Oilers aren't yet, can win with Dubnyk. When this season is over, I'd be willing to wager that Dubnyk, who sits at 6-10-1 with an .896 save percentage today, falls right where he has the previous three seasons – in the .914 to .920 range.

Right in the middle between a rail car out of town and a Vezina Trophy.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

I can't figure out fans in this town when it comes to their perceptions of the media, although much of how they view the jobs being done by scribes and broadcasters is obviously based on how good or bad the Oilers are playing at any given time.

Reporters not willing to seek out Kevin Lowe and ask him why the hell he refuses to step down right now, if not bloody sooner – usually after a loss -- are fartcatchers and yes-men. Bought and paid for. Mouthpieces for the team and blah, blah, blah. And why don’t we ask Sam Gagner why he sucks so bad? What the hell is wrong with "you guys."

Then, when a reporter, namely Ryan Rishaug of TSN, presses Ilya Bryzgalov about why the Philadelphia Flyers paid him $23 million to go away and not play for them anymore, he's being an ass and a showboat and picking on the wrong guy because he just got here (and isn’t Kevin Lowe).

There was nothing wrong with the line of questioning Rishaug and others pursued with Bryzgalov during his first availability here. Those questions were asked and answered (very well by Bryzgalov, I thought). Then, you move on and judge Bryzgalov, as he suggested, by whatever his body of work turns out to be this season.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#3 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 11:15AM
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@Ron

"My bad. There I go being wrong again!"

Never said you were wrong or right. Never told you what to think. Again, your ability, or maybe it's your willingness, to comprehend is in question.

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#5 DSF
November 23 2013, 12:36AM
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D wrote:

A major concern for some fans (myself included) is whether Dubnyk can play reasonably consistent when the real pressure is on.

I'll start getting excited again if that 7-15-2 record turns into a 10-16-2, 13-17-2, 16-18-2, and 19-19-2 record.

I'm admittedly out-to-lunch, but I still think this team can squeak into the playoffs.

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

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#6 Fresh Mess
November 23 2013, 07:50AM
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Completely agree with you RB. The vitriol towards Dubnyk has been over the top. The fanboys foaming at the mouth to defend their lover Yakupov was pretty sad also. The most hilarious oft repeated bit has been blaming the assistant coaches.

This teams problem is it's management. It starts with the owner and his right hand man Lowe.

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#8 kgo
November 22 2013, 10:15PM
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love the fartcatcher moniker

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#9 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 10:39AM
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Just read that Varlamov was charged with assault for beating his girlfriend. Sweet Jesus, what is it with Russian goalies?

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#10 TayLordBalls
November 22 2013, 10:39PM
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RB

Who peed in your cereal?

This is a team on the rise

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#11 Crackenbury
November 23 2013, 11:22AM
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RB,

It's just my opinion but there appears to be a bit of a generational difference of opinions on this site lately. Older guys like myself seem to have no issue with the Rishaug interview. You've got a goalie being paid $23mm (or something like that) not to play by an organization. He's been portrayed as a complete nut job in the past. The questions seemed like fair game to me for a first press conference. They've been asked and answered and now I'm sure that's the end of it unless Bryz does something crazy. Being held accountable for past behaviour is fair game.

Many of the younger posters seem to feel the past is past. You're entitled to mistakes and shouldn't be raked over the coals for them. Edmonton is a fresh start for Bryz and there was no reason to dredge up the negative as it serves no purpose.

Two very different ways of looking at the same issue. Neither group is going to convince the other to change their viewpoint. We are in fact the minority here. No point in trying to fight it.

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#12 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 09:44PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I believe the RR was baiting Brygalov, which might or might not be valid. As Brygalov mentioned in the scrum he had answered at least one of RR questions previously and RR asked it a second time in a somewhat different way, apparently to try to get an embarrassing quote.

This might be considered hard ball reporting and this might be okay. But there is a definitely double standard here. Why didn't RR go over to Gagner and ask him how he felt about pulling down 4.8 mill per year and having 0 goals (at that time) and minus gazillion. If you are going to be the hard ass reporter asking the tough questions, you shouldn't pick your spots. You lose your credibility.

Double standard?

Let me get this straight. Unless Rishaug or another reporter approaches every player the same way, he's "picking his spots," employing a "double standard" and lacks credibility?

So, Gagner, who is in his seventh season with the Oilers, is making $4.8 million and is off to a lousy start coming off a broken jaw that required surgery, is in the same boat as Bryzgalov, who is being paid $23 million dollars not to play for the Flyers amid word from multiple people he's a sideshow and a distraction in the dressing room on his first day in Edmonton? It that your position?

People in any real-word situation, be it an NHL dressing room or a corporate office, earn a certain amount of slack when they've been on the job seven years. That doesn't make them immune from tough questions, but it tends to earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time. That's especially true when it's clear Gagner came back earlier than he probably should have from his injury. Has he been good enough? No.

Fact is, that bothers him more than it does you because if you knew Gagner even a little bit you'd understand he's harder on himself than anybody and is the first player in that room to take responsibility when he doesn't play well. Fact.

Bryzgalov? Look at his numbers in Philly. Not great but not horrendous, yet he was bought out at a cost of $23 million. He couldn't find NHL work until the Oilers called him. That's worth finding out about. That was the story of the day and every reporter in town wanted to know what happened. Bryzgalov was clever and charming and might have won some people over with what he said, but the fact is he never gave a straight answer as to what went wrong in Philly.

I know I'm getting $23 million not to play for the Flyers, but I don't want to talk about that too much. I don't want to discuss possible changes to the way I conduct myself because it was their call to cut me loose, not mine. Just judge me from here on out.

Given all that, you're offering up some textbook-type theory that not approaching Gagner with the same hard-line type of questions means a reporter is picking his spots and, thus, lacks credibility?

How naïve.

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#13 DSF
November 23 2013, 12:41AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I wouldn't cross the street to see a Timberlake concert. That's Rishaug's thing.

Like I said, I understand the passion of fans in this town, but I think some of that gets directed at the wrong people.

Fans fixate on Lowe and I understand why, but the idea that nobody has criticized his tenure here when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary is a fantasy.

It was also puzzling to me why Rishaug took heat for his line of questioning. Those questions, in the context of a first availability with Bryzgalov, had to be asked.

I think you have to admit Lowe has gotten a pretty easy ride in Edmonton.

After 8 years out of the playoffs, virtually every team in the league would be dumping their hockey executives and looking for different answers.

That Lowe was made to feel uncomfortable by ONE reporter in his presser announcing the MacT hire doesn't change that all that much.

Has anyone asked him DIRECTLY why MacT was the best man for the job?

Has anyone asked him DIRECTLY why he thinks Eakins was the best available coaching hire?

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#14 Larry
November 23 2013, 01:20AM
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1. hows are d? 2. hows are 2c? 3. getting better... 4. hurtin, special teams are rising 5. that gags, yac hemmer line is alright 6. coach finally has nuge, hall, eberle back 7. goalie?

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#15 Serious Gord
November 23 2013, 01:23AM
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I think I have been pretty consistent as a fan:

I think that relative to many other media/sports markets edmontons sports journos are lapdogs who only on very rare occasions bite the hand that they think feeds them (the six rings presser being an especially unique occasion that delivered the very last Time Lowe has faced th public since - even the media I think was surprised by lowes retreat).

I had no real issues with the Bryz interview; he could have shut down the proceedings any time he wanted, there was no badgering - nothing like he would have gotten in Philly.

But your point is valid for many, many others...

Regarding dubnyk. I think the old adage regarding stats and lies applies: he is very good when the pressure is off. Now that the team has no hope of contending he plays above average; when a game really really matters (and how many have we had of that type in the last few years?) he reverts to the flight instinct - clenching rather than expanding; retreating rather than attacking; out of the 'zone' rather than in it. And clearly management thinks - based on their actions in the preseason - the same.

From a quest for the cup perspective this team is a thalidomide baby - stunted in so many ways by the smack of favoritism and nepotism in its bloodstream. What the hell is Acton doing on this team and arcobello toiling in the minors? What is the impact on morale of such blatant nepotism? This team is going nowhere until the owner goes into rehab for it just as the flames purged the sutterites. Yet the media is largely mute on this galling instance. (Did anyone really go after MacT or Eakins about it?)

In conclusion, the press is not totally in the bag for the teams management, but past and current actions (or lack thereof) do justify the lack of trust on the part of fans regarding the press' lack of backbone. The media always seems to be one step behind the fanbase in criticizing/demanding management be held to account.

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#16 MessyEH!
November 23 2013, 10:03AM
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Best goal song ever... AC/DC Thunder Struck.

But I would love to see "Yackity Yak, Don't talk back!" played for N64s goals.

"Hammertime" for Hemmer

"Eye of the tiger" for Hall

And "The Hustle" for Perron.

But I would love to see "Yackity Yak, Don't talk back!" played for N64s goals.

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#17 srbuhr
November 22 2013, 10:16PM
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While it's great to see the win streak, Calgary, Columbus and Florida are not very good teams. Ferrence summed it up well after the Florida game indicating it's great to hear loud cheers for the team because they also heard the loud cheers against. This is still going to be a long season with this line up and this coaching staff. I am sure there will be more shots taken at Lowe, the players and reporters.

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#19 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 12:26PM
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@Serious Gord

No ill will intended, just making an observation. Khabi drunk driving, Bryz being a cosmonaut, now Varlamov (allegedly).

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#20 The Hammer
November 23 2013, 01:44PM
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Brownlee, I'm tired of your articles constantly mocking Oilers fans. The reason you have a job is because of Oilers fans. I stopped following you on twitter and now I'm going to stop reading your articles. They offer no insight at all, but rather patronizing and rude comments about the Oilers fans who are "unreasonable."

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#21 Your Daddy
November 23 2013, 10:43AM
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No matter how you sugar coat it, Dubnyk played a leading role in the early collapse of the Oilers... Until management acquired Bryz, Dubnyk was awful... letting limp wristers in from the blue line consistently...

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#22 Serious Gord
November 23 2013, 12:34PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

No ill will intended, just making an observation. Khabi drunk driving, Bryz being a cosmonaut, now Varlamov (allegedly).

Intent aside, it is a bogus, bigoted comment. And it slags excellent individuals like vlad Tretiak and many many others.

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#23 Ron
November 23 2013, 04:02AM
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Well now, i'd like to thank you for pointing out to all of the us ticket buying fans that the ineptness of Katz' ownership and management down to the people who clean the rink post-game are not the problem it is the fans who are responsible for team performance since '06. Who'd-a-thunk it?

It is that point of view spelled out so clearly by you that shows me why most if not all Edmonton media types are thought of the way they are.

So once again we the fans are not seeing what we are seeing. It's just our faulty perspective.

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#24 Oilerz4life
November 23 2013, 06:03AM
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Rishaug is a douche.

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#25 michael
November 23 2013, 10:31AM
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Its all Klowes fault. The team,the weather, the stock market. Everything. The conspiracy theorists plague us with their "puppet master" comments like mosquito's in summer. Its mind dumbing. Fortunately the majority of Oiler fans see through this bunk.

DD is what he is. Could he post better numbers on a team with better defense? Perhaps. His critics may get that opportunity next season if MacT decides not to sign DD to another 3.75/year contract. It will be a season that determines our future direction in net.

As to the quality of reporting in this city. Terry Jones, Matheson, Jill Ireland and others in the print, digital,radio, TV and other media are in my opinion on par with the best in the world. The quality of reporting has never been better than it is now. Social media has opened many new doors in terms of reporting. Ryan Rishaug is no dumbass. IB knows someone is going to ask him about the 23 million he is getting. IB response was I thought reasonable. What the heck is he suppose to say to the money? No? Anyways. I enjoy our media. Heck I was shaking my head at the loss of Carrie Doll on CTV this coming March. Talk about media you can trust. An icon in the community who gives of her time freely. Gregor is at that level. He has established himself as that guy. He is the go to go guy for charities. He blends his personal social agenda into his show seamlessly. Stand up guy. Were blessed in Edmonton.Just got to open our eyes and count those blessings.

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#26 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 11:41AM
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@DSF

Lowe has been made to feel uncomfortable by more than one reporter over the past few years. What he hasn't been made is unemployed, and that doesn't fall to us.

Here's an excerpt from something I wrote last March.

"Given the record over the previous 11 seasons and what I'm seeing play out so far this season, I know what I'd do if I was signing the cheques in Edmonton and I didn't have a playoff race on my hands right down to the wire – Lowe and Tambellini would be relieved of their duties.

"That call, of course, belongs to Katz, and, given his relationship with Lowe, I don't see that happening. Tambellini, coming off an underwhelming two-year extension as a mandate, will be the fall guy if there is one. That could open the door for MacTavish, now the senior vice-president of hockey operations, but that's an item for another day."

It's not the first time I've pointed the finger directly at management. Other people have done it, too. Repeatedly. That gets lost, I think, because Lowe is still here. There's one guy who can fire Lowe and it isn't me or Rishaug or Matheson or Gregor . . .

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#27 He Who Knows
November 22 2013, 10:28PM
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Are you Rishaug's bodyguard? Or perhaps you two went to a Timberlake concert and brought sexy back. Lol joking. Mainstream media just seems to give off a bad vibe, maybe it's the whole corporate thing. What do I know? You were in the business so I will take your word for it. Love the sarcasm in your articles as always.

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#28 gadzic
November 22 2013, 10:38PM
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I think the issue people had with Rishaug was the way in which he asked the questions not what he was asking about. Appeared at least by my ears to be going for a cheap sound bite or to be baiting Bryz .

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#29 spliff
November 23 2013, 01:33AM
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You can try and stand up for your journalistic brethren all you want Robin, but the bottom line is KLowe and his yes-men have gotten off pretty lightly.

Edmonton, although growing rapidly, is in many ways still like a small town, where everyone knows everyone. That may be a reason why the journalists here have given KLowe and MacT a pretty easy ride.

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#30 Harlie
November 23 2013, 08:48AM
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I'm still not sold on Dubs. Put a fork in this season anyhow.

And any "fan" that criticizes Rishaug for asking the tough questions for us is an idiot. Least Ryan has the balls to stand up to these millionaires face to face and put the heat on. That can't be easy, so props to him.

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#31 Serious Gord
November 23 2013, 10:36AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I've noticed the crap music too. Didn't they play a five minute Adele song right before puck drop a while ago? She's got a killer voice, but pump up music Adele is not.

We need Zombie Nation as our goal song again! Something the fans can chant along with. I can't remember which team uses the chorus from Bro Hymn by Pennywise, but that's gotta be the best goal song in the league right now.

The crap, low energy music is likely a result of the focus groups six rings had with season ticket holders - aka old corporate farts who abhor the new-fangled music kids listen to these days...

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#32 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 12:41PM
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@Serious Gord

I think you might be overreacting.

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#33 nunyour
November 23 2013, 01:49PM
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Katz and Klowe both suck,we already know this,they proved it when they went to check out Seattle,Lowe's record speaks for itself,don't need a reporter to confirm it.On the bright side I think we will all learn to love MacT,i find him open and honest.

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#34 Larry
November 23 2013, 01:11AM
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OHHH DSF is a computer, now i get it!

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#35 NJ
November 23 2013, 05:09AM
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@RB Why you haz to be so mad?

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#36 merfer
November 23 2013, 10:46AM
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I think they should start Bryz against Chicago. Might make the game very interesting.

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#38 Oiler Al
November 22 2013, 10:23PM
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I agree, there is nothing wrong with asking the hard question, that all part of the gig, from both sides of the mike!

But why has no one asked the hard questions of Mr Lowe, the guy who knows something about winning.... while the team flounders at the bottom of the league , yet again.

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#39 OilClog
November 23 2013, 12:06AM
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The way I see it, I want to hear Bryz talk about; why he chose Edmonton, is he prepared for the challenge, can he stay warm, can he help out players build a swagger.

What I don't want to hear; negative directed first interview as a presentation for the fan base.

When are the MSM going to realize the average man isn't watching the sport for Drama. We're watching it for the Sport. I want to read about why Bryz glove hand is top 5, what he prides his game on the most? Builds a better fan/player relationship. Over a bunch of negative Philly mistakes. Report the beautiful game on the damn ice!

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#40 GVBlackhawk
November 23 2013, 01:05AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Fans were rightfully upset with Dubnyk because his 'slump' has significantly contributed to a lost season. The Oilers were out of the playoff picture one month into the season largely in part to abysmal goaltending (both Dubnyk and Labarbera). The fact that Dubnyk's play is regressing to his average is of little comfort at this point.

With respect to the mainstream media's handling of Kevin Lowe, there has not been much pressure on him. MSM reporters know that Lowe is petty and might restrict access to the team. Neither the Sun, the Journal, TSN, or Sportsnet have cast a spotlight on Lowe's management record. There have been a few sporadic articles, but nothing that would constitute real media pressure. Even Yakupov faced more media scrutiny from his comments last week than Lowe has received in his tenure in management.

Other than his six cups debacle, Lowe's record of futility has flown under the radar of most fans -- the blame being deflected by ex-coaches and Steve Tambellini. Has Lowe even given one interview since that press conference? Would Rishaug grill Lowe like he did Yakupov or Bryzgalov? I don't think so.

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#41 pelhem grenville
November 23 2013, 06:51AM
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...oh Robin I long for the days when a 'good scribe' was getting a healthy paycheque from Bill Tuele each time he got on the media plane to travel with the club and write nothing but what Peter Pocklington wanted to read.

The likes of Matheson and Cole back in the day weren't really part of those members of the media that fed freely from the trough provided by the Oiler organization but the bunch I ran with were firmly in the back pocket of the Oiler Club...how could you NOT take the payola if you were writing the features in the frickin' game day programs year after year!!!

Then one day at the Coliseum media dining area the Journal scribes & photogs stopped eating the provided for pre-game meal siting that this free food w/ beverages were in fact in conflict with how they reported and showed Oiler players in "good light"... ... so the wise old powers that be at the Journal started paying the Oiler Club for their employee meals at Oil games at the start of the year and became immune to any sort of bias that the other guys at the other paper were bathing in freely.

So then no one at the Journal had any problem exposing certain members of the team to public ridicule when they dug up drug scandals and rumors that turned out to be true all along. The other guys had to play catch up quite a bit when the "Urinal" broke nasty scoops and news reporters, not sports reporters were turning out scurrilous pieces on player lifestyles and proclivities.

Oh how I long for those days ...

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#43 Serious Gord
November 23 2013, 11:59AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Just read that Varlamov was charged with assault for beating his girlfriend. Sweet Jesus, what is it with Russian goalies?

What an inane comment. MacT committed vehicular homicide back in the day. Glenn Andersen was no angel. Excreable behavior does not recognize national borders.

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#44 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 04:36PM
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** wrote:

The Calgary game was a great one for Dubnyk, then again every NHL goalie is bound to have one of those every now and then. On the last 2 games, yes his sv% has been very high, but the team in front of him has played much better, limiting the other side to 14 and 25 shots. Good on Dubnyk for elevating his game, and for the team to win, but he hasn't convinced me of anything yet. The guy doesn't even have a career.500% in wins/losses. His best test will come on monday against Chicago (although for some glitch in the matrix they've been Edmonton's bitc**s at Rexal as of late)

There isn't a goaltender in the NHL today who would be .500 playing behind the teams Dubnyk has played for. Not one.

Hell, Patrick Roy, Tony Esposito and Ken Dryden couldn't drag this team to .500 by themselves.

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#45 Retsinnab5
November 22 2013, 11:06PM
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For some reason i have a good feeling about our next game... YAKCITY

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#46 D
November 23 2013, 12:26AM
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A major concern for some fans (myself included) is whether Dubnyk can play reasonably consistent when the real pressure is on.

I'll start getting excited again if that 7-15-2 record turns into a 10-16-2, 13-17-2, 16-18-2, and 19-19-2 record.

I'm admittedly out-to-lunch, but I still think this team can squeak into the playoffs.

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#47 Slyers
November 23 2013, 01:05AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I wouldn't cross the street to see a Timberlake concert. That's Rishaug's thing.

Like I said, I understand the passion of fans in this town, but I think some of that gets directed at the wrong people.

Fans fixate on Lowe and I understand why, but the idea that nobody has criticized his tenure here when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary is a fantasy.

It was also puzzling to me why Rishaug took heat for his line of questioning. Those questions, in the context of a first availability with Bryzgalov, had to be asked.

What bothered me was Bryz had already gave a well thought out response to Ryan's line of questioning, but Ryan basically reframed and repeated the same question because Bryz did not take his bait. That is when it became obvious to most what Ryan was really up too. As for why there is a difference between questions for. Bryz or Gagner, I think you answered your own question. Bryz just arrived hear and should for the most part be judged on what he does hear, while the MSM seem to give some Oilers a lot of slack for their inferior play ( some fans as well) Dubnyk and Gagner in my mind seem to get a " get out of jail free" card far to often IMHO. As always enjoy reading your work,

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#48 Oiler Al
November 23 2013, 06:22AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Funny you'd bring up the "something about winning" comment from Lowe when saying nobody asks him or management tough questions.

That quote came from Lowe because reporters were asking tough questions and he didn't like it.

The reality, at least as I see it, is a segment of fans aren't going to to be happy until Lowe is gone and if they feel that way, fine. If you're frustrated Lowe is still here, don't point at the reporters in this town like they can fire him but won't, or that they don't ever ask tough questions, because they do. That's a fact.

Blame the guy who decides if Lowe keeps collecting a pay cheque. It damn sure isn't the reporters who make that call.

Robin, yes Lowe didn't like it, pulled a hissy fit and has not been seen since. I bet if the Oilers record would be reversed he would be the mouthpiece for the team all day long.

Yes, I do blame the guy who signs Lowes paycheck, he should be first on the interview list... good luck with that... You can catch him at most Canuck games or at the draft table next year.This guy has his finger on the pulse of the team.. however faint it maybe.

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#49 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 08:04AM
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@Fresh Mess

This comment is kind of inane.

Dubnyk was utterly horrible to start the season, like sub-AHL bad. He deserved a lot of the criticism that was lobbed his way.

You're damn right I'm going to defend a first overall pick that broke Stamkos' junior scoring records and who hasn't played even a full season yet.

So you consider Smith and Bucky to be 'the guys' going forward then? Even though Eakins was saddled with them and was no doubt told to roll with it?

Lowe certainly needs to go, but firing him isn't going to vault this team into contention. There are problems at every level of the franchise.

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#50 war
November 23 2013, 08:46AM
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Great article Robin,as for all the fans lets focus on positives,we are getting good goaltending,great special teams,hall nuge and ebs are together,yaks coming on,perron is on fire!yes we beat a couple of bottom teams to build a bit of momentum,BUT LAST TIME I CHECKED WE ARE A BOTTOM TEAM!so to start the transition to a mid-pack team we need to start beating those teams,time to roll with the oil,they wont make the playoffs but will finish the season as a 500 hockey club,witch means progress has been made!Lowe does suck but Mact deserves time-he got rid of horcoff,got gordon signed,traded mps for parron,signed bryz to help stop the bleeding so although he doesnt get an A+ he does get a solid B for his first 6 months in office!

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