GDB 25.0: A TOUGHER TEST...

Jason Gregor
November 25 2013 12:27PM

Fresh off a three-day break, the Oilers will try to extend their three-game winning streak vs. the defending Stanley Cup champions. Since the start of the 2010/2011 season the Oilers are 6-5-1 against the Hawks. The Oilers are 2-3-0 at home at 4-2-1 on the road.

The games in Edmonton have been blowouts. The Oilers have won by scores of 9-2 and 8-4, while the Hawks won 4-1, 5-0 and 4-1. The Oilers have outscored their opponents 15-3 during this short winning streak, but beating Chicago should be more difficult than beating Calgary, Columbus and Florida.

The Oilers' are playing their best hockey of the season, but so are the Hawks. Chicago is 10-2-1 in their last 13 games and they've scored 4+ goals in nine of those games. Patrick Kane is on a ten-game scoring streak and has 16 points in 13 games, while Jonathan Toews has 15 points in that same span, and they are on different lines.   

LINEUP

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

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

Dubnyk

No reason to change anything when you are winning, although at some point you'd like to see more from Jesse Joensuu. He hasn't done much, and once they lose I could see Ryan Jones and Marc Arcobello re-inserted into the lineup.

Marian Hossa is in Chicago taking care of a personal matter, so look for Brandon Saad to play with Toews and Patrick Sharp. Kane has Brandon Pirri as his centreman, and recently acquired Kris Versteeg will play the other wing.

QUICK HITS

  •  This is the healthiest we've seen the Oilers in years, and if they can stay healthy we will get a much more accurate assessment of who they are as a team. The Blackhawks have 12 skaters who have played every game. Their top-five D-men; Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Oduya and Leddy, and forwards Toews, Sharp, Kane, Shaw, Saad, Kruger and Bollig. Hossa had missed four games and Bickell has missed two. Being healthy, especially when it is yoru best players, gives you a much better chance to win.
     
  • Look for the Oilers to attack Kane when he has the puck and not give him time to set up. If Kane has time to set up in the offensive zone he will embarrass you. Eakins said he'd rather see the puck on Kane's linemates' sticks.
     
  • Ken Hitchcock moving close to Hall of Fame, a goalie the Oilers have to look at in free agency, and a major blunder by the CFL. Read here.
     
  • Marc Arcobello has been a good surprise, but anyone who felt he was the team's MVP in the first quarter of the season wasn't watching close enough. It is great to want him in the lineup, but don't overestimate his contributions.
     
  • After reading Willis' solid piece on Perron's spike in shots on net, I asked the winger about his increased totals. "I've always liked to shoot, and right now I'm getting a lot of chances to shoot. I'm not sure if the system allows me more chances, or if I'm just getting more right now. It is early, but it seems every game I'm in a good spot to shoot. I really like playing with Gordo (Boyd Gordon) and Smitty (Ryan Smyth). We work well together and they get me the puck in good areas. I don't think I'm doing anything really different than I have in the past, but I noticed I have almost as many shots this year than I had all of last season, so hopefully I can keep it up," Perron said.

    He said he wanted to shoot more the past few years, but this year he said he has tried to shoot the puck quicker, and felt that he had more shots blocked last year. Interesting.
     
  • The Oilers PP is now 9th in the league at 21.5%. After going 6 for 49 (12.2%) in their first 15 games, they are a sizzling 11 for 30 (36.7%) in their last nine games. The Oilers are 18th in PP chances, but if you went by games played, they'd be closer to 23rd.
     
  • The Oilers PK has moved up to 15th overall at 83%. In their first 15 games they allowed 13 goals in 55 attempts (76.4%), but in their last nine games they've only allowed 2 goals in 33 kills (93.9%).
     
  • The Oilers still take too many penalties. They've been shorthanded 88 times thus far, tied for 7th most in the NHL. Eakins has no problem with aggressive penalties, but he feels his team still takes too many stick infractions. They've been one of the most penalized teams for the past four seasons, and eventually that needs to change if they want to start winning.
     
  • A big thank you to everyone who came out to DJ Suitcase party on Friday. It was a great night and we raised over $15,000 for the Inner City Children's Program. Nice work.

LOOKING AHEAD....  

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fans will be entertained with nine goals, but this won't be a blowout...The Hawks pick up their second 5-4 victory over the Oilers this season.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall picks up two more points. Hall has 7-10-17 in 11 career games vs. the Hawks.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sam Gagner scores the first goal of the game, and a few people suggest he's on his way to another 8-point night. That won't happen, but Gagner picks up an assist to finish with two points. Gagner gets rocked by Andrew Shaw early in the 2nd period, and can't drop the mitts because his jaw isn't 100%, so Andrew Ference rushes in and he and Shaw have a spirited tilt.  

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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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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#101 Clyde
November 25 2013, 10:03PM
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Anyone still wondering why Saad was a Calder finalist and Yak wasn't?

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#102 Alsker
November 25 2013, 10:10PM
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Honestly miss a punishing D-man, not a 1D but just a tough SOB. Don Jackson,Matt Greene,Marchmant,S.Smith,Gator,Buekeboom, Luke Richardson type. We so despratley need such a guy. Bryz gives you the feeling he`s a true NHL goalie, now we need that on the back end. Gags,Hemmer,+ prospects come on MacT get it done...NOW

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#103 MessyEH!
November 25 2013, 10:16PM
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michael wrote:

Why is Potter still an Oiler? Own goal.Pp and Sh goal. The Oil are finding all kinds of ways to piss this game away. Oh well. Looks like a recipe for failure tonight. BTW Columbus kicks the crud out of TO tonight 6-0. Friday night should be brutal for the Oil.

5-1 final tonight I think I 'll go watch a Miley Cyrus video on You Tube. Isn't that the joke? What's worse than watching the Oilers play Chicago? Answer? Watching Miley Cyrus.

You caused this!!!

Runs away crying to his race car bed*

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#104 Alsker
November 25 2013, 10:30PM
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Rob... wrote:

Hall needs to sit for a game. Those turnovers were far less excusable than Yakupov's bobbling of the puck on the short-handed goal.

I'd also bagskate every player who decided the best play was to blindly pass it behind them while deep in their own zone and under pressure.

Dont forget all those little drop passses and scary plays worked against Flo.,Col., and Calgary...BUT alas we play a real team and.....cant argue with you and honestly agree but accountability has way too many syllables to mean anything to this organization

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#105 Clarko
November 25 2013, 10:37PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

He didn't play well, that's for sure. Of course, Yak blowing a tire on a PP, Kane winning a scramble on their PP, Corey Potter punching the puck into the net and Shaw scoring on a 3 on 1 didn't help matters.

Look, no one EVER said Dubnyk was amazing.

What they (myself included) said is that he was playing terribly but was way more likely to rebound to his historical average (which happens to be league average or very slightly better, i.e., not amazing, not terrible), then to remain in the gutter, which many were dead certain of happening.

His play over the last 10 games was very good. And, I expect it to even out over the course of the season to league average or slightly better.

Feel free to continue to think otherwise. You would probably be seriously wrong and if you were in charge of an NHL team you would be likely to make many very bad decisions.

Dubnyk had no help tonight...I'm not sure which of those 4 goals he was suppose to save. This team continues to give good teams many amazing scoring chances. The Hawks basically had to play hard for half a game tonight and then shut it down. This team proves once again that they are the easiest team in the league to play against.

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#106 Stack Pad Save
November 25 2013, 10:40PM
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@Clarko

I was at the game, the Hawks played good for maybe like 5 shifts. But when you have break downs like the Oilers do that is all it takes.

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#107 madjam
November 25 2013, 10:58PM
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Hawks made us look like cellar dwellers again despite a good effort by the boys . Defence and center acquisitions will not be coming forth anytime soon , as MacT. has simply run out of options on ones they might want . So long as we stick with our fab o called stars our chances of getting much better seem remote at this stage .

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#108 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#109 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#110 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#111 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#112 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#113 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#114 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#115 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#116 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#117 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#118 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#119 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#120 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#121 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#122 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#123 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#124 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#125 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#126 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#127 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#128 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#129 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#130 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#131 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#132 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#133 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#134 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#135 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#136 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#137 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#138 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#139 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#140 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#141 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#142 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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#143 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#144 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#145 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#146 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#147 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#148 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#149 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#150 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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